(Host) Last week, Central Vermont Public Service announced that it had agreed to be sold to Fortis, Incorporated – a Canadian company-for $700 million.
The next step in the process is for the two utility companies to file a petition with the Public Service Board for approval. At that point, the Board will seek comments from parties that have an interest in the proposed transaction, either in public hearings or in a formal court room.
Michael Dworkin is a Vermont Law School Professor and former chairman of the Vermont Public Service Board. He says that while considering the sale, the PSB will be looking for very specific information.
(Dworkin) "Traditionally, the board has noted that the most important thing about a contract is who is the other party? And they’ve asked three big questions about the other party. One is, do they have technical competence? Do they know how to run a utility? The other one is, are they financially sound and stable and can they meet their commitments? And the third is, what is their business reputation in the places they’ve already been doing business?"
(Host) CVPS also needs to get approval for the sale from its share holders. Company President and CEO Larry Reilly says he thinks the vote will be held later this summer. And he expects the Public Service Board to render a decision in 8-to-10 months.
(Reilly) "We’re fortunate in the sense that the Public Service Board has reviewed a very similar transaction in the last three or four years with the sale of GMP and you know I think they’ve left a pretty clear road map."
(Host) Green Mountain Power’s sale to Canadian-based GazMetro in 2007 took 10 months to settle from announcement to closing.