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Feature Article

Utility M&A Heats Up Again: Here’s Where to Bet

By Roger S. Conrad on Apr. 12, 2021

Electricity, heating, water and communications have been essential services for well over a century. And over that time, not one of the literally thousands of mergers between operators has failed to produce a stronger and more resilient company.

No other industry can boast such a track record. And it’s the clearest possible endorsement of the advantages of utility scale. These sectors must be able to raise and effectively deploy massive amounts of capital to assuring universally reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable service.

Essential services are heavily regulated so M&A always has to meet a much higher bar than other industries, as multiple government entities and often the courts consider the public interest. And the number of hurdles all but rules out hostile takeovers, since targets have many tools at their disposal to secure support of their own regulators.

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