In the past week, orders were issued by state regulatory commissions in two proposed mergers. These orders, which reject both mergers out of hand, are a departure from industry norms.
- On April 13, 2017, the Public Utility Commission of Texas issued a draft order rejecting NextEra Energy’s proposed acquisition of Oncor. This transaction was part of the plan of reorganization of Energy Future Holdings, Oncor’s bankrupt parent, which was confirmed by the bankruptcy court of the District of Delaware. On April 18, 2017, the bankruptcy court held a regularly scheduled hearing during which it discussed the Texas Commission’s decision and expressed certain questions and concerns and encouraged the parties to work together.
- On April 19, 2017, the Kansas Corporation Commission issued its order rejecting Great Plains Energy’s proposed acquisition of Westar Energy. The Missouri Public Service Commission, which also has jurisdiction over the transaction, has not yet issued its order.
Each of these regulatory processes is still active, as they are pending, among other procedural elements, the potential for requests for rehearing.