Talen CEO remains mum on potential company purchase

Talen Energy (NYSE:TLN) President and CEO Paul Farr declined comment May 10 on rumors that the company might be sold soon.

“We do not comment or speculate on market rumors. We never have and we never will,” Farr said during a regular quarterly earnings conference call with financial analysts.

There have been unconfirmed published reports that Talen stakeholder Riverstone Holdings is making a bid to buy the independent power producer.

In 2015, Talen was formed when certain assets of PPL (NYSE:PPL) was separated from PPL. When spun off, PPL owned 65% of Talen and Riverstone 35%.

On operational issues, Farr said that “gas continues to get additional run time at the expense of coal.” This was reflected in a big falloff in Talen’s coal-fired generation between during the first quarters of 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The company expects natural gas co-firing capability for the 750-MW Brunner Island Unit 3 to be completed in the third quarter of 2016. Talen could make a decision on a similar project at the Montour plant, also in Pennsylvania, within a few weeks, company officials said.

Farr said he was pleased to see the U.S. Supreme Court rule against “subsidized new builds” of natural gas power plants in regulated states.

On nuclear generation Susquehanna Unit 1 safely completes biennial refueling outage. Susquehanna Unit 2 achieves 10th straight month with capacity factor at or over 100%, Talen officials said.

Company officials also noted that the recent sale of hydro power projects, completed the mitigation steps that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) required when Talen was formed.

Talen reported first quarter 2016 Adjusted EBITDA of $235m, compared with $237m in the first quarter of 2015, and Net Income of $151m, compared with $96m for the first quarter of 2015.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.