Merger of Nevada Utilities Gets Justice OK
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has given Sierra Pacific Power
and Nevada Power - the two largest providers of electricity and
natural gas in Nevada - a clean bill of health on the antitrust
aspects of their proposed merger. The DOJ action came in the wake
of FERC's approval of the $4 billion transaction last Wednesday.
"This is another step that brings us closer to the completion of
our vision of creating a western utility that benefits all of our
customers," said Malyn K. Malquist, CEO, president and chairman of
Sierra Pacific Resources, parent of Sierra Pacific Power.
The merger partners still must comply with a Nevada Public
Service Commission order issued last December, requiring them to
carry out the divestiture of their power generation facilities. In
addition, the Securities Exchange Commission must sign off on the
deal. The utilities hope to close the merger by the end of the
In the event the approvals are forthcoming, both Reno-based
Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power of Las Vegas will be combined
into Sierra Pacific Resources to serve more than 800,000 electric
users and 100,000 natural gas customers in southern and northern
Nevada and in the Lake Tahoe area of California. Sierra Pacific
Resources also owns a 50% interest in Tuscarora Gas Pipeline.
The new company would have annual customers and kilowatt-hour
sales growth of 5% and 7% respectively, the highest in the nation,
according to the merger partners. And based on 1997 results, total
revenues would be approximately $1.5 billion, with annual earnings
of about $160 million and assets of $4.3 billion.
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