OEB Issues Decision and Order on Niagara Falls Hydro Inc. and Peninsula West Utilities Limited



    TORONTO, Dec. 28 /CNW/ - Today the Ontario Energy Board issued a Decision
and Order granting Niagara Falls Hydro Inc. (Niagara Falls) and Peninsula West
Utilities Limited (Pen West) leave to amalgamate.
    Niagara Falls operates in the city of Niagara Falls and Pen West operates
in the town of Lincoln, the town of Pelham and the township of West Lincoln.
    Currently, Niagara Falls is wholly owned by Niagara Falls Hydro Holding
Corporation, which in turn is wholly owned by the City of Niagara Falls. Pen
West is wholly owned by Peninsula West Power Inc., which in turn is owned by
the municipalities of the Town of Lincoln, the Town of Pelham, and the
Township of West Lincoln.
    Upon approval and completion of the proposed transaction, Niagara Falls
Hydro Holding Corporation and Peninsula West Power Inc. would hold 74.5 and
25.5 percent of the shares, respectively, of the amalgamated utility.
    In making its Decision, the Board used the "no harm" test which considers
whether the proposed transaction would have an adverse effect in terms of the
statutory objectives of the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, relating to
mergers, acquisitions, amalgamations and divestitures. They are:

    
    -   To protect the interests of consumers with respect to prices and the
        adequacy, reliability and quality of electricity service; and

    -   To promote economic efficiency and cost effectiveness in the
        generation, transmission, distribution, sale and demand management of
        electricity or the maintenance of a financially viable electricity
        industry.
    

    The Board also found it was in the public interest to cancel both the
Niagara Falls electricity distribution licence and the Pen West electricity
distribution licence and to issue a new electricity distribution licence when
the amalgamation transaction closes.

    The Ontario Energy Board regulates the province's electricity and natural
gas sectors in the public interest. It envisions a viable and efficient energy
sector with informed consumers served by responsive regulatory processes that
are effective, fair and transparent.
    For more information on the Board, please visit our website at
www.oeb.gov.on.ca or contact the Consumer Relations Centre at 416-314-2455 or
toll-free at 1-877-632-2727.





For further information:

For further information: Paul Crawford, Ontario Energy Board, (416)
440-7607


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