A proposed $7.9 billion merger between Exelon Corporation and the Maryland based Constellation Energy has overcome its final obstacle, receiving approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The deal was previously approved by Maryland's governor and the Maryland Public Service Commission, which oversees and regulates all Business acquisitions in the state.
The final approval of the merger makes the combined company the number one competitive energy provider in the country. The deal also marks a major achievement for Exelon's CEO, who spent years attempting to turn his company into a powerful business with low emissions. As the CEO is set to step down, the newly combined company operates a large number of power facilities across the country, 87 percent of which are categorized as low-emission. This is due largely to the company's initiatives involving natural gas, wind, solar, hydroelectric and nuclear power generation. This could give the company an advantage in the face of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's increasingly tough stance on emissions and air pollutants.
The Attorney General of another state asked the FERC to reject the merger, saying it could harm competition in the state's energy markets. Additionally, the Maryland Officer of People's Counsel protested the merger in an official filing, arguing that the deal could negatively impact an energy market that is already crowded. Ultimately, however, these protests were unsuccessful.
An executive with Exelon who is slated to become the next CEO of the new company said that he and his colleagues are pleased that the FERC approved the merger. "FERC's approval is the final regulatory requirement to completing the transaction. We look forward to combining our operations and becoming one company," he explained.
Constellation's president, who will become executive chairman of the combined company, expressed similar sentiments. "We are pleased to now be able to proceed with the transaction and unite our two companies," he said.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Exelon merger completes final regulatory hurdle," Julie Wernau, March 9, 2012