Power company New England
Electric System (NEES) said Monday it had agreed to buy Eastern
Utilities Associates in deal worth about $634 million, in the
latest consolidation spurred by deregulation in the electricity
In December, NEES said it would merge with National Grid
Group, a privately owned British transmission company. In its
latest deal, NEES will acquire Boston-based Eastern Utilities
for $31 cash per share.
NEES said the combined company will serve 1.6 million
electricity customers in 228 New England communities, and will
serve more electricity customers in both Massachusetts and Rhode
Island than any other company.
About 250 jobs will be lost after the merger, but NEES will
aim to trim those jobs through voluntary early retirement and
attrition, it said.
Rick Serge, NEES president and chief executive, will become
president and chief executive of the combined company. Donald
Pardus, Eastern Utilities chairman and chief executive, and John
Stevens, Eastern Utilities president and chief operating
officer, have opted to retire upon the merger's close.
NEES said it expects the deal to be completed by early 2000.
It said it would finance the acquisition in part with cash from
the sale of its generating business last September.