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FPL, Constellation Tell FERC to Continue Processing Merger Application

Constellation Energy Group and FPL Group last week said that FERC should continue processing a merger application the companies submitted earlier this year [EC06-77].

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff had asked the utilities whether the federal agency should continue processing the merger filing in light of recent news that Constellation has, for the time being, ceased FPL Group merger integration activities.

The companies responded to the FERC staff letter on Monday, confirming that they "remain fully committed to completing the merger for which they requested authorization" in their merger application filed on Feb. 9. "Accordingly, the Commission should continue processing the merger application," FPL and Constellation said.

"The applicants confirm that there has been no change to the terms of the merger transaction as set forth in their Feb. 9, 2006 application, and the applicants do not plan any change in any material respect to the terms of the transaction based on the temporary hold on integration efforts," FPL and Constellation went on to say.

Constellation CEO Mayo Shattuck recently told the company's employees that Constellation has, for now, ceased FPL Group merger integration activities. The letter was included in a May 31 Securities and Exchange Commission filing (see NGI, June 5).

"This reflects the reality that integration activities require a great deal of time and manpower, and in this uncertain climate we believe that effort is more appropriately applied to our day-to-day business," Shattuck wrote in the letter. "We will resume integration planning when it is warranted. Our merger approval process continues in the normal course."

In February, FPL and Constellation filed their merger application at FERC under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act (FPA). Based on the filing date of Feb. 9, the end of an initial 180 day action period at FERC will occur on Aug. 7.

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