Volatile markets are causing delays, but most deals are moving forward.
Although problems in the power business grabbed the headlines early this decade, the industry now seems fundamentally strong. In contrast to their ratings of banks, rating agencies appear to have recently upgraded more of the electric sector than they have downgraded. It remains a strong investment grade, usually BB or BBB. For an index of 68 electric utilities, the debt-to-equity ratio averaged only 55:45 and return on equity exceeded over 13 percent through January.
American Electric Power named Michael Rencheck senior vice president and chief nuclear officer for its D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Mich. The American Public Power Association elected Roger B. Kelley to its board of directors. OGE Energy Corp. named Danny P. Harris as COO. Glen Justis joined Deloitte & Touche LLP as a director in the global energy markets group of the organization’s regulatory and capital markets practice. And others...
(November 2007) Pacific Gas and Electric Co. elected William D. Arndt to the newly established post of vice president, project management and program office. Calpine Corp. promoted Zamir Rauf to treasurer and senior vice president of finance. FirstEnergy Corp. named William D. Byrd director of rate strategy, vice president and chief risk officer. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission assigned David Dumbacher as senior resident inspector at the Callaway nuclear plant, near Fulton, Mo. And others...
(March 2007) Constellation Energy named Kevin W. Hadlock vice president, investor relations, and Robert L. Gould vice president, corporate communications. Subsidiary Constellation NewEnergy appointed Emily Neill as business development manager. Dynegy Inc. announced several organizational changes related to the company’s proposed combination with LS Power. Robert W. Best, chairman, president, and CEO of Atmos Energy Corp., was elected chairman of the American Gas Foundation’s board of trustees for 2007. And others...
Michael T. Burr
As a former independent power producer, George Lagassa is sympathetic to the woes of the merchant power industry. Until just a few years ago, he held the license to a micro-hydro qualifying facility (QF) in New Hampshire, so he understands what it takes to compete in a regulated-franchise industry. Yet, as the principal of Mainstream Appraisals in North Hampton, N.H., Lagassa is also a dedicated pragmatist. He sees the industry's consolidation trend as a sort of correction in the U.S. power market.
Kent Knutson, Christopher Neil, and Albert Pearson
Over the past two and a half years, 10 large mergers have been announced, involving 21 investor-owned electric and gas utilities. Only the MidAmerican Energy merger has been completed, but the estimated market value of the pending mergers is an astounding $40.5 billion. Clearly, this recent wave of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity signals that electric utilities are positioning themselves for future competitive energy markets.
Results from Resource Data International's (RDI's) recent study, U.S.