Buyout creates largest US independent power transmission co

ITC Holdings, based in Novi, Michigan, operates a regulated, high-voltage system and through its wholly owned subsidiary, ITC Transmission, the company provides electricity and related services to wholesale customers that supply approximately 4.9 million end-use consumers.

The deal, the largest ever financing for independent electricity transmission acquisition has been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and gives ITC Holdings jurisdiction over METC’s six million customers in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It is hoped it will result in increased operational efficiencies and improved system reliability.

ITC Holdings Corp financed the deal via the proceeds of a public offering of 6,580,987 shares of common stock and a $510 million private placement of senior notes in two tranches. Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse acted as lead underwriters for the common stock offering and as lead initial purchasers for the notes offering.

“Private equity firms and now even hedge funds are joining traditional investors such as independent power producers and investor-owned entities in advancing industry consolidation,” said Robert Williams of international law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP who represented Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse in the deal.

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