Reports: Exelon Considering DC HQ to Win Pepco Deal
Chicago-based Exelon would open a headquarters in the district and offer more customer credits under a tentative agreement D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office has reportedly struck to support the company’s purchase of D.C.-based Pepco Holdings Inc.
While neither Bowser’s office nor the companies would confirm the draft settlement, several intervenors in the merger process told Bloomberg and the Washington City Paper that the document was being shared among interested parties on Friday.
The move comes as the D.C. Public Service Commission is scheduled to decide Wednesday whether to grant a joint request by the district’s attorney general and the companies to stay proceedings in the matter until Nov. 4. The request is an attempt to buy time to strike a deal that might be acceptable to the D.C. PSC, which unanimously rejected the acquisition in August. (See DC Halts Exelon’s Acquisition of Pepco Holdings; Pepco Stock Tumbles.)
Wall Street remains skeptical that Exelon will consummate the deal.
Exelon shares closed Monday at $30.30, up 1.6% for the day, while Pepco rose 0.4% to $25.41. But both remain about $2 below their prices on Aug. 24, before the PSC’s rejection.
Last week, Exelon asked the agency to reconsider its decision, taking issue in a 43-page filing with the PSC’s findings that the deal would not be in the public interest and it would not be in the public interest to identify additional conditions that could make it so. (See Exelon Appeals DC PSC Decision; DC Mayor Confirms Negotiations.)
The filing came at the same time the mayor confirmed her office was discussing a settlement agreement with the companies that would constitute a new filing to the commission. Previously, Bowser’s office had said it agreed with a letter of opposition filed by Attorney General Karl Racine’s office listing 40 conditions that should be met for the deal to be accepted.
On Monday, Racine spokesman Rob Marus said it was premature to say whether the attorney general would support the outcome of negotiations, which he said were continuing.
“The settlement to be weighed in on is a different settlement,” he said. “The Office of the Attorney General has a role to weigh in early on in the process; now we’re in a different place in the process.”