AKRON, Ohio, and GREENSBURG, Pa., Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) and Allegheny Energy, Inc. (NYSE: AYE) received an order from the Maryland Public Service Commission (MPSC) approving their merger with conditions that largely reflect the comprehensive settlement filed by the companies and the majority of parties to the case. The MPSC order provides a 30-day period for the companies to review and respond.
Maryland is the third of four state regulatory approvals needed to complete the merger. The companies previously received approvals from the Virginia State Corporation Commission and the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, and have a comprehensive settlement with the majority of parties to the merger application pending before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The merger also has received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and completed the U.S. Department of Justice review process. Shareholders for both FirstEnergy and Allegheny Energy overwhelmingly approved proposals related to the merger.
The companies filed their merger application with the MPSC on May 27, 2010, and a comprehensive settlement with many of the parties on December 1, 2010. Parties signing the settlement include the State of Maryland; the Maryland Energy Administration; the Maryland Department of the Environment; the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), AFL-CIO; UWUA System Local No. 102; Maryland Industrial Customers; the Board of County Commissioners of Washington County, Maryland; the City of Hagerstown; the Town of Thurmont; and the Town of Williamsport.
INFORMATION CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
In addition to historical information, this news release may contain a number of "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as anticipate, expect, project, intend, plan, believe, and words and terms of similar substance used in connection with any discussion of future plans, actions, or events identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relating to the proposed merger include, but are not limited to: statements about the benefits of the proposed merger involving FirstEnergy and Allegheny Energy, including future financial and operating results; FirstEnergy's and Allegheny Energy's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions; the expected timing of completion of the transaction; and other statements relating to the merger that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, expectations and projections and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that actual results will not materially differ from expectations. Important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. With respect to the proposed merger, these factors include, but are not limited to: the risk that FirstEnergy or Allegheny Energy may be unable to obtain governmental and regulatory approvals required for the merger, or required governmental and regulatory approvals may delay the merger or result in the imposition of conditions that could reduce the anticipated benefits from the merger or cause the parties to abandon the merger; the risk that a condition to closing of the merger may not be satisfied; the length of time necessary to consummate the proposed merger; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; the risk that the cost savings and any other synergies from the transaction may not be fully realized or may take longer to realize than expected; disruption from the transaction making it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees or suppliers; the diversion of management time on merger-related issues; the effect of future regulatory or legislative actions on the companies; and the risk that the credit ratings of the combined company or its subsidiaries may be different from what the companies expect. These risks, as well as other risks associated with the merger, are more fully discussed in the joint proxy statement/prospectus that is included in the Registration Statement on Form S-4 (Registration No. 333-165640) that was filed by FirstEnergy with the SEC in connection with the merger. Additional risks and uncertainties are identified and discussed in FirstEnergy's and Allegheny Energy's reports filed with the SEC and available at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Forward-looking statements included in this document speak only as of the date of this document. Neither FirstEnergy nor Allegheny Energy undertakes any obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this document.