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Following energy issues in the state of Connecticut and beyond.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Has NU-NStar Merger Hit A Snag?

The Boston Globe is saying it has.

Specifically, the Globe is reporting this morning that the administration of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is seeking to have that state's utility regulators delay action on the merger until at least next year. The Globe's story, quotes an NStar spokeswoman as saying that a substantial delay could jeopardize the deal.

If that were to happen, it wouldn't be the first time that action by a regulatory body had a hand in bringing NU merger plans to an end.

New York City's Consolidated Edison sought to acquire Northeast Utilities in a $7.5 billion deal that was first announced in October 1999. But, amid criticism from state officials and consumer advocates, the deal fell apart in March 2001.

In that case, Connecticut utility regulators approved the proposed merger, but imposed conditions that may have caused Con Ed to balk at the deal. In the NU-NStar deal, Connecticut regulators have refused to hear the case, a decision that has prompted a court challenge from the state's Office of Consumer Counsel.

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