State utility regulators reject Entergy-ITC merger

By Emily Wagster Pettus

Associated Press

JACKSON – Mississippi utility regulators have unanimously rejected a merger proposal by Entergy Corp. and ITC Holdings Corp.

Public Service Commission members say the deal could’ve meant a $300 million rate increase for Mississippi customers over 30 years.

Entergy executives say they’re disappointed in the Mississippi regulators’ vote Tuesday and will work with ITC to determine the companies’ next steps.

In 2011, New Orleans-based Entergy said it would transfer its high-voltage lines to Novi, Mich.-based ITC. ITC would issue Entergy shareholders enough stock to give them a majority of ITC shares worth more than $2 billion. ITC would assume $1.78 billion in debt.

The merger request also was filed in other states Entergy serves — Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.

Regulators there haven’t acted, but rejection in Mississippi makes the deal’s success unlikely.