Hydro merger talks power up

Merger talks between PowerStream Holdings Inc. and two other utilities are underway, a dialogue which could create the second largest local distribution company in Ontario.
Last April Queen’s Park announced that negotiations were underway with respect to a potential three-way merger of PowerStream Holdings Inc., Enersource Corporation, and Horizon Utilities Corporation, with an opportunity to acquire Hydro One Brampton Networks Inc. from the province.
“This merger, as with the earlier merger of Barrie Hydro and PowerStream, has the potential to reduce costs to customers and increase returns for taxpayers,” says Mayor Jeff Lehman. “By having a larger entity, we will be able to achieve savings through economies of scale, and those savings will be passed on to the customers. We will also be in a stronger position to take advantage of implementing new technologies that will help us to better serve, and offer more services, to our customers.”
The three PowerStream shareholders, Markham, Vaughan and Barrie (and their holding companies), have partnered to evaluate the proposed merger transaction. Navigant Inc. and BDR North America have been retained to provide independent advice and financial due diligence, and Gowlings LLP has been retained to undertake legal due diligence to support a decision.
The matter is anticipated to be considered by General Committee on Sept. 14 and City Council on Sept. 21.

Timelines

• Sept. 8: Barrie Hydro Holdings Inc. will receive and consider a recommendation from the PowerStream Board regarding the proposed merger with Enersource and Horizon and the purchase option for Hydro One Brampton.
• Sept. 14: Barrie Hydro Holdings Inc. recommendation will be forwarded to its shareholder, the City of Barrie, through General Committee for consideration, and recommendation to City Council. This meeting will be open to the public.
• Sept. 21: General Committee’s recommendation will be considered by Council. Should an individual be opposed to the recommendation from General Committee, he/she may submit a request to the Clerk to provide a deputation at the meeting regarding his/her opposition. The deputation would be heard by members of City Council prior to any final Council decision on the matter.

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