FERC okays MidAmerican buy of NV Energy; merger deal closes

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 19 approved the proposed takeover by MidAmerican Energy Holding of NV Energy, which controls two Nevada utilities, Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power.

MidAmerican Energy Holding is controlled by investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which also controls western utility PacifiCorp and Midwest utility MidAmerican Energy.

On July 12, an entity called Silver Merger Sub Inc., MidAmerican Energy Holding, NV Energy, Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power filed a joint application for the approval of a transaction in which Merger Sub will merge with and into NV Energy, resulting in NV Energy becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of MidAmerican.

NV Energy (NYSE: NVE) said Dec. 19 that it and its wholly owned subsidiaries, Nevada Power d/b/a NV Energy and Sierra Pacific Power d/b/a NV Energy, have each commenced tender offers for the entire principal amount outstanding of certain series of notes. Each of the companies is making the tender offers in order to comply with the terms of the various series of notes following the closing of the merger of Silver Merger Sub with and into NV Energy. The merger closed on Dec. 19.

NV Energy is a Nevada corporation and an investor-owned public utility holding company. In 1999, Sierra Pacific and Nevada Power received authorization for the merger of Nevada Power into Sierra Pacific Resources, as the result of which Nevada Power became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sierra Pacific Resources. Sierra Pacific Resources later changed its corporate name to NV Energy.

Nevada Power is a vertically-integrated public utility that generates, transmits and distributes electric energy in Las Vegas and surrounding areas in southern Nevada, and is regulated by the Nevada commission. Nevada Power operates a transmission system in southern Nevada and owns and about 4,500 MW of generation.

Sierra Pacific is a vertically-integrated public utility that generates, transmits and distributes electric energy throughout northern Nevada, including the cities of Reno, Sparks, Carson City and Elko, and is also regulated by the Nevada commission. Sierra Pacific operates a transmission system in northern Nevada and owns and approximately 1,600 MW of generation.

MidAmerican, an Iowa corporation, is a holding company that owns subsidiaries principally engaged in energy businesses and is itself a consolidated subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. MidAmerican’s domestic electric power generating, transmission and natural gas transmission assets are owned directly or indirectly by the following entities: MidAmerican Energy, PacifiCorp, MidAmerican Renewables LLC, Kern River Gas Transmission, Northern Natural Gas and MidAmerican Transmission LLC.

The commission found that the merger won’t create concentration of market power concerns and approved it.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.