Foreign company to purchase Vermont's CVPS utility

RUTLAND - It's getting harder to "buy local" these days as even Vermont's largest electric utility, Rutland-based CVPS, is being purchased by a foreign company.

Canadian Fortis Inc. and Central Vermont Public Service announced on Memorial Day that they have entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition by Fortis of all of the outstanding common shares of CVPS for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $700 million (U.S.), including the assumption of approximately $230 million (U.S.) of debt.

The all-cash transaction will provide CVPS shareholders $35.10 per share, a 44 percent premium over the CVPS common share closing price of $24.32 on May 27.

The Fortis Group of Companies has regulated utility companies operating in five provinces of Canada - British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland - and three Caribbean countries. Marshall explains that there are almost 7,000 employees throughout the Fortis Group of Companies; however Fortis' Head Office, headquartered in St. John's, Newfoundland, has less than 20 employees.

The acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings per common share of Fortis in the first full year of ownership.

Under the agreement, CVPS customers and employees will receive the following:

Approximately $21 million will be provided by Fortis for the benefit of CVPS customers, in a manner to be determined through the regulatory approval process;

CVPS will continue to be managed from the company's headquarters and maintain its substantial civic presence in Rutland and across Vermont; and

CVPS and its customers will benefit from the sharing of best practices among the Fortis Group of Companies in the areas of safety, reliability, efficiency and customer service.

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