Local Business

Deadline extended on Belco takeover decision

  • Utility sale: a deadline for a decision by the Regulatory Authority on the change of control of Belco to a Canadian utility company has been extended to October (File photograph)

A deadline for a decision on the change of control of Belco to Canada’s Algonquin Power and Utilities Corporation has been extended to October.

The Regulatory Authority will issue a final decision on the change of control application.

A Bermuda government notice states that Walter Roban, Minister of Home Affairs, has concluded that there is “good cause to waive the deadline” due to the complexity of the statutory process to access the application, and the national significance of the proposed transaction.

The new deadline to assess the application is October 4.

In August, shareholders of Ascendant Group approved a takeover by Algonquin.

Algonquin offered $365 million for the shares in Ascendant, which includes electricity supplier Belco Ltd, AirCare Ltd, iEPC Ltd, IFM Ltd and Ascendant Properties Ltd.

In a statement about the deadline decision change, Ascendant said: “In light of this substantial extension, the company will continue to work with the minister and the RA to ensure that final consideration of the application is completed as expeditiously as possible.

“The Ascendant board of directors is confident that the sale will ensure Bermuda and Belco’s customers are well served with reliable electricity that will be cleaner, more efficient and more cost-effective.

“Algonquin has committed to reducing Belco’s operating costs by $5 million, with no company-initiated job reductions in connection with the sale, to benefit the customer, investing $5 million to launch the Sustainable Bermuda Foundation with the purpose of advancing and promoting renewable energy, conservation and sustainability in Bermuda, and investing $300 million into renewable energy in Bermuda through a competitive process.”

Ascendant added: “These commitments are in addition to Belco’s pre-existing $250 million investment in capital infrastructure upgrades. These commitments are expected to benefit all our stakeholders — our employees, customers and the Bermuda community.”