EnergyHarbor sale to Texas company announced

Larry Limpf

News Editor
Energy Harbor, a FirstEnergy spin-off company, is being sold to Vistra Corp., a company based in Irving, Texas.
Vistra announced last week it had executed a $3.43 billion agreement with Energy Harbor Corp. that will merge Energy Harbor into a newly-formed subsidiary to be called Vistra Vision.
The agreement includes $3 billion in cash and a 15 percent ownership interest in Vistra Vision. In addition, Vistra will assume $430 million in debt from Energy Harbor.
A majority of Energy Harbor shareholders will receive cash at the closing and the two largest shareholders, Avenue Capital Group and Nuveen, will receive a combination of cash and the 15 percent interest.
The transaction will combine Energy Harbor’s nuclear and retail businesses with Vistra’s nuclear and retail businesses. Vistra will not be acquiring Energy Harbor’s non-nuclear generation fleet. “We look forward to welcoming the Energy Harbor generation and retail teams in Ohio and Pennsylvania to Vistra,” Jim Burke, Vistra president and CEO, said. “We focus on being a preferred place to work and a core member of the communities where our plants, retail offices, and customers are located, which will soon include Akron among other locations in Ohio and Pennsylvania.”
In a prepared statement, Vistra made it clear that nuclear power will play a significant role in its future plans.
“This combination creates a leading integrated retail electricity and zero-carbon generation company with the second largest competitive nuclear fleet in the country, along with a growing renewable and energy storage portfolio,” the statement says.
CEO Burke said, ”As our country navigates a massive energy transition to cleaner sources of electricity, nuclear energy provides the unique capability of being both carbon-free and a dependable, always-on source of reliable power. With the enactment of the zero-emission nuclear production tax credit, nuclear power generation now has down-side protection against lower power prices, resulting in tremendous upside opportunity compared to other generation with similar attributes.”
The announcement of the merger comes near the conclusion of a federal court case in Cincinnati that will decide if a former Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, Larry Householder, received $61 million in bribes funneled through a non-profit entity from FirstEnergy.
Prosecutors allege that in exchange for the funding, Householder helped lead an effort to pass House Bill 6 that provided about $1 billion in funding for the electric utility’s financially strapped nuclear power plants.


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