RA in ‘forensic review’ of Belco deal
A year after Ascendant Group's shareholders approved the company's takeover by Canadian firm Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp, the proposed transaction is still being assessed by the electricity sector regulator.
Only after the Regulatory Authority approves the application for a change of control of the licence held by power utility Belco, a subsidiary of Ascendant, can the deal go through.
Two sources told The Royal Gazette that the RA had submitted draft approval of the change of licence to the Government. We reached out to the RA and to the Ministry of Home Affairs, asking for confirmation, or otherwise, and for an update on the RA's assessment.
In response, Mark Fields, chairman of the RA's Board of Commissioners, said that the deadline for the decision was October 4 this year, as previously announced, and the RA was working towards it.
Mr Fields said: “Since Belco is Bermuda's major energy supplier, and due to the substantial long-term impact of what has been proposed, it is vital that the RA is forensic in its review and assessment of the application and supporting documents.
“There is an established date to deliver a final recommendation, and we are committed to meeting it.”
Algonquin's $36-per-share offer for Ascendant amounts to total consideration of $365 million. The Bermuda Stock Exchange-listed company has about 2,700 Bermudian shareholders.
Ascendant has estimated that approval of the deal would pump $200 million into the Bermuda economy. Algonquin has also publicly committed to investing $300 million in renewable energy in Bermuda.