A glimpse of freedom

Speculation about a new flurry of merger and acquisition activity in the US utility sector is emerging in the run-up to the repeal of the country’s Public Utility Holding Company Act (Puhca). A depression-era law that had kept a lid on utility-sector M&A for 70 years, Puhca will be repealed in February under the Energy Act 2005.

The act prevented utilities from merging unless they had contiguous territories. A Californian utility could not go shopping for assets on the east coast, and vice-versa

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