Entergy-ITC merger filings submitted in 3 of 5 required states

In an ongoing effort to transfer approximately 15,800 miles of Entergy’s (NYSE: ETR) transmission lines to ITC Holdings (NYSE: ITC) and form one of the nation’s largest transmission companies, Entergy and ITC have initiated spin-off and merger request proceedings in three of the five states where regulatory approval is necessary.

Entergy Mississippi, in conjunction with ITC Holdings and ITC Midsouth, filed a request Oct. 5 with the Mississippi Public Service Commission (PSC) to spin off the Mississippi electric transmission business and merge it into a subsidiary of ITC.

“This proposal builds on years of hard work and aggressive investment to improve service to our customers,” Entergy Mississippi President and CEO Haley Fisackerly said in a statement. “It paves the way for new investment, new expertise and an independent company singularly focused on transmission in the region.”

This most recent filing follows similar ones made to the Louisiana PSC on Sept. 5 and the Arkansas PSC Sept. 28 by Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Arkansas, respectively.

Joint filings on the transaction also were made to the New Orleans City Council Sept. 12 and FERC Sept. 24. Additional filings, according to a joint company statement, will be submitted to regulators in Missouri and Texas before the end of the year.

If the proposed plan is approved for Entergy to divest and subsequently merge its electric transmission business into ITC, then ITC would own more than 30,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines in 11 states.

In a separate but related effort, Entergy has been working for more than a year on its plan to transfer its transmission systems control to the Midwest ISO (MISO). A successful spin off and merger is conditional on approval of Entergy’s transfer to MISO in the states the company serves, a spokesperson for ITC told TransmissionHub Oct. 8.

The Louisiana PSC in May approved the joint application of Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana to join MISO. FERC also approved the MISO transfer request of Entergy operating companies Oct. 3.

Approvals have been sought by the companies in Arkansas and Texas. Regulators granted conditional approval in August for Entergy subsidiary Entergy Arkansas to complete integration with MISO, but a recent filing by the Southwest Power Pool says MISO has failed to meet regulatory conditions in Arkansas at this time.

Two Mississippi PSC hearings in September on Entergy Mississippi’s proposal to join MISO were cancelled by agreement of stakeholders to allow the PSC to move ahead with a decision on the transfer request, Entergy Mississippi said in a statement.

The Mississippi PSC has given parties to the proceedings until Oct. 19 to challenge anything on record before it moves forward to make a decision using evidence filed in the request proceedings.