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NS Power Moves Into U.S. With Maine Merger

NS Power Moves Into U.S. With Maine Merger

Taking the first step to move across the Canadian border, NS Power Holdings Inc. announced plans to merge with its U.S. neighbor, Maine's Bangor Hydro-Electric Co.

The Halifax, NS-based company, which owns 100% of Nova Scotia's electric utility, agreed to pay $26.50 a share, or $206 million in cash for the Maine company --- about 77% more than the price at Bangor Hydro's close at the time of the announcement.

Most important, the Maine connection will give the Canadian company a base to launch more initiatives into the region, something the company is expected to do.

"Nova Scotia and Maine are good neighbors, with similar geography and service environments," said NS Power's CEO David Mann.

Bangor Hydro's business is focused only on electricity transmission and distribution, and it will continue to be regulated by the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

Mann said Bangor Hydro's name would not change, and he did not expect any personnel changes to be made. The merger, which would make Bangor Hydro a subsidiary of NS Power, is expected to be completed within a year. The Maine electric utility serves about 110,000 customers and is a member of the New England Power Pool.

The merger will give NS Power its first stake on U.S. soil. With $2.9 billion in assets, it had $532 million in sales last year, and its utility has 440,000 customers. NS Power also has a 12.5% interest in the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline.

Carolyn Davis, Houston

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