Parties agree to finalize partnership between Erie Thames Powerlines and West Perth Power

    INGERSOLL and MITCHELL, ON, March 12 /CNW/ - The Municipality of
West Perth and Erie Thames Power Corporation have agreed to terms in respect
of a merger of their electric utilities. The transaction will result in a
single distribution company providing electricity service to 13 communities in
three Southwestern Ontario counties, although West Perth Power Inc. will
continue to operate as a separate entity. The parties are currently moving to
finalize definitive agreements and approve a transition plan. The deal will
become effective once regulatory approval is received from the Ontario Energy
    West Perth Power currently distributes electricity to the communities of
Mitchell and Dublin while Erie Thames Powerlines provides distribution
services in Beachville, Ingersoll, Burgessville, Norwich, Otterville, Port
Stanley, Belmont, Aylmer, Thamesford, Tavistock and Embro.
    "This partnership does more than retain control of an essential service
in a time of ageing infrastructure and increased privatization." said Mayor
John Van Bakel. "By linking with an innovative business like Erie Thames
Power, West Perth will maintain a local focus while gaining access to a
wide-range of utility services, solutions and resources that will better
enable it to distribute electricity in a reliable and safe manner."
    "We are excited at the prospect of working with another forward looking
municipal shareholder to create a single, efficient, electricity distribution
company." said Jeff Pettit, President and CEO of Erie Thames Power, a
diversified energy distribution and services company, "I believe that once
this partnership is achieved, it will further reinforce the advantages that
utility consolidation offers and provide a broader platform to continue
providing high quality, community focused services to existing and new

    Erie Thames Power is a diverse energy company that owns electricity
distribution assets, including Erie Thames Powerlines, and provides utility
services and solutions to over 160,000 customers in Ontario and the U.S.

For further information:

For further information: Jeff Pettit, President & CEO, Erie Thames
Power, (519) 485-1820 ext 226; John Van Bakel, Mayor Municipality of West
Perth, (519) 348-4575

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