Florida-based NextEra Energy, Hawaiian Electric Industries clear hurdle on path to merger

Florida-based NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) announced Wednesday the end of a mandatory waiting period regulating proposed mergers, having announced the proposed merger in December 2014 and satisfying all legal conditions.

A pre-merger waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 is standard in the industry. 

"The expiration of the HSR Act waiting period represents another important milestone toward the completion of our proposed merger with Hawaiian Electric," NextEra Energy Chairman and CEO Jim Robo said. "As the world's leading generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, we are well positioned, alongside Hawaiian Electric, to partner with the state to achieve its 100 percent renewable portfolio standard by 2045, as well as integrate more rooftop solar, modernize the electric grids and importantly, lower customer bills.”

NextEra Energy's principal subsidiaries include Florida Power & Light Co., which serves approximately 4.8 million customer accounts in Florida, and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun.

“We look forward to continuing to constructively engage with communities across Hawaii … to demonstrate why we believe this merger represents the best path forward to achieving a more affordable, renewable energy future for Hawaii," Robo said. 

Already approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and HEI shareholders, the transaction is subject to approval by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, the spinoff of ASB Hawaii, parent company of American Savings Bank, and other customary conditions. 

HEI supplies power to approximately 450,000 customers, or 95 percent, of Hawaii's population through its electric utilities.  

"We are pleased to clear another hurdle to our proposed merger with NextEra Energy," HEI President and CEO/Chairman of the boards of American Savings Bank and Hawaiian Electric Connie Lau said. "By allowing the HSR Act waiting period to expire, the (government) confirmed the companies' view that the merger presents no likelihood of potential anticompetitive effects in Hawaii or elsewhere. As the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun with a proven track record of lowering customer bills, NextEra Energy is the right partner for Hawaiian Electric as we work to achieve Hawaii's bold, clean energy goals."

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