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Mergers to dwindle IOUs from 101 to 80

Issue 11 and Volume 100.

Mergers to dwindle IOUs from 101 to 80

Mergers may reduce the number of investor-owned utilities (IOU) from 101 to 80 by the year 2000, according to a Resource Data International (RDI) report. IOUs are merging at a rate of four to six companies per year. The report, “U.S. Electric Utility Mergers and Acquisitions,” found that since early 1994, 10 deals involving 21 large IOU and gas utilities have been announced, with an estimated market value of these deals of more than $40.5 billion.

The report also notes companies changing focus and merging to become energy providers rather than electricity providers, as every recent and pending merger agreement has involved at least one partner with gas operations. Pressure from shareholders is seen as a key in triggering mergers. The full report is available from RDI for $4,900 at (303) 444-7788.