Energy deal gets Littlechild OK
Monday 30 June 1997
The formal offer document for Energy Group, published today, will also keep investors guessing about the shape of the combined company's top executive team. John Devaney, chief executive of Eastern Group, has been guaranteed a senior post with PacifiCorp, possibly as chief operating officer in the US, but has not yet been allocated a firm job title.
But Mr Devaney, who is 50 and is one of the more highly regarded electricity chiefs, may instead look for a new challenge outside the utility sector, possibly in a role where he can turn around a troubled manufacturing business. He has a background in manufacturing, including a spell with Perkins, the diesel engine maker.
Executives from the two companies held talks with Professor Littlechild at his Birmingham offices on Friday where they argued that the deal did not raise any new competition issues. Eastern would be the eighth regional electricity company (REC) to fall into American hands and the first REC to be taken over twice. The Ipswich-based subsidiary is also the UK's fourth largest generator.
Professor Littlechild is thought to have expressed some concern at the complex financing arrangements, which will leave the combined group with debts of some $14bn (pounds 8.75bn). PacifiCorp has pledged to sell its US telecommunications business, reducing the debt by about $1.5bn and has denied it will have to finance part of the deal by issuing junk bonds. The regulator is expected to accept Energy Group's argument that the REC business will be "ring- fenced" and would not see its own debt rating affected by the huge borrowings of the holding company.
In previous US takeovers of RECs he has asked for further limited licence changes to ensure the regulated business remained transparent.
Professor Littlechild's advice will put further pressure on the Department of Trade and Industry to let the deal go through without a referral to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Ellen DeGeneres leads Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany in revealing game of Never Have I Ever
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...