ITC CEO: Entergy transaction progressing ‘on track’

ITC‘s (NYSE:ITC) acquisition of Entergy‘s (NYSE:ETR) transmission business is on track and going well, ITC CEO Joe Welch said.

“Right now, based on feedback I’m getting, I’m guardedly optimistic that things are right on track, and I’m pretty happy about where we’re at right now,” Welch told TransmissionHub on June 28.

The company is continuing to meet with stakeholders to acquaint them with the independent transmission model, as well as with regulatory entities involved in the process, Welch said. He added that the company is focusing its efforts on answering questions before the companies make a regulatory filing.

“We didn’t put [the merger] on a fast track because when you go through a multi-state regulatory process, it’s very complex, and the one thing I would say that I’ve learned from my 40-plus years in the business is, when you have something like this you don’t want to get ahead of the regulatory process,” Welch said. “You really want to give that time, for those people to ask questions when we’re not in a courtroom setting.”

State regulatory approvals are needed from the Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC), Louisiana PSC, Mississippi PSC and the Public Utilities Commission of Texas. Because of some assets in other territories, state approvals may also be required in Missouri, Tennessee and Oklahoma. The City Council of New Orleans also must approve the transaction. 

Federal regulatory approval is needed from FERC, and antitrust approval is needed from the U.S. Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Commission. The IRS also must approve the tax-free nature of the transaction.

A spokesperson for ITC told TransmissionHub the companies plan to make a regulatory filing in mid-summer.

ITC on Dec. 5, 2011, announced it would acquire Entergy’s transmission assets in a reverse Morris transaction, making ITC the largest load-serving transmission company in the country – adding 28,000 MW of load to its existing 26,000 MW – and the second largest transmission company on a miles-served basis – adding 15,700 miles to its existing 15,100 miles of transmission lines.

 

This story was amended at 10:33 on June 29, 2012, to reflect that ITC’s mid-summer regulatory timeline is not an extension. 

About Rosy Lum 525 Articles
Rosy Lum, Analyst for TransmissionHub, has been covering the U.S. energy industry since 2007. She began her career in energy journalism at SNL Financial, for which she established a New York news desk. She covered topics ranging from energy finance and renewable policies and incentives, to master limited partnerships and ETFs. Thereafter, she honed her energy and utility focus at the Financial Times' dealReporter, where she covered and broke oil and gas and utility mergers and acquisitions.