March 10, 2005
(Updated) Breaking: PUC Tells TPG It Can't Have PGE
Portland Statement To Come
Note: This post has been updated. Any and all updates appear at the end of the original post.
We have nothing unique to add here. Just links. KGW was the first report we saw reporting that the Oregon Public Utilities Commission has rejected outright the sale of Portland General Electric to Texas Pacific Group.
The PUC has posted the documents relevant to today's decision.
From the press release:
"The potential harms or risks to PGE customers from the deal outweigh the potential benefits," said Commission Chair Lee Beyer. "Based on the evidence presented to us, we found that PGE customers would not be better off in terms of rates and service than they would with PGE as a separate, stand-alone company.
The Commission cited a large debt burden and short-term ownership as the major sources of risk while discounting the benefits of the deal alleged by TPG.
From a list of questions and answers, addressing what happens next:
It is possible that Texas Pacific may choose to submit a revised application. Such a revision would need to resolve the Commission's concerns as outlined in the order and would be subject to public review.
The applicant could also seek reconsideration or appeal to Circuit Court.
It is possible that another potential private owner will submit an offer. Such an offer would need to go through a review similar to what Oregon Electric has undergone.
It is possible that a public entity will attempt to buy PGE. Such an offer would need to obtain approval from Enron, its creditors and the Federal bankruptcy court. The Commission would not have a role in a public purchase.
It is likely, as called for under the bankruptcy order, that PGE will return to being an independent Oregon corporation with its stock shared by Enron's 9000 plus creditors. Such a transition would likely take place over a couple of years.
FYI, email just in from the Mayor's office indicates that someone has been sending around a fraudulent email claiming that this afternoon's 2:00 PM press conference at City Hall has been cancelled. It has not, and will proceed as announced.
Governor Ted Kulongoski has reacted to the decision, and offered his vision of some guiding principles for any future action regarding PGE.
Meanwhile, KGW will be streaming the Portland news conference which is scheduled to get underway at 2:00 PM.
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