Midwestern utility Evergy pushed again Tuesday in opposition to a report from Reuters that it rebuffed a $15 billion acquisition bid from NextEra Power, the U.S. renewable vitality chief that is been looking for to make the most of its excessive inventory value to broaden its roster of regulated utilities lately. 

Evergy replied to Reuters’ anonymously sourced report with a Tuesday assertion that “there may be presently no provide or bid from any third social gathering for a possible transaction.” It additionally reiterated that its ongoing Sustainability Transformation Plan, which requires slicing its emissions 80 p.c by 2050, is its highest precedence presently. 

Debbie Larsson, a spokesperson for NextEra Power, mentioned in a Tuesday interview with Greentech Media that the corporate doesn’t touch upon market rumors as a matter of coverage. 

Evergy, which serves 1.6 million prospects in Kansas and Missouri, was shaped in 2018 by the merger of Westar Power and Kansas Metropolis Energy & Mild guardian firm Nice Plains Power. It was below stress from shareholder Elliott Administration Corp. to hunt a purchaser final 12 months, however its board of administrators acted to forestall the prospect of a takeover.   

Tuesday’s assertion famous that “whereas we’re at all times open to new concepts and alternatives which have the potential to boost shareholder worth, we stay assured that the STP, which Elliott publicly endorsed when it was introduced, is the most effective risk-adjusted path ahead and that each one acceptable steps are being and have been taken to maximise shareholder worth.”

NextEra, whose country-leading renewable vitality portfolio has helped make it the Most worthy U.S. utility by way of market capitalization, has been looking for for years to amass regulated utilities throughout the nation. However past final 12 months’s $6.four billion acquisition of Florida utilities Gulf Energy and Florida Metropolis Fuel from earlier proprietor Southern Firm, it has up to now been unsuccessful. 

In 2016, NextEra’s $four.three billion bid for Hawaiian Electrical was rejected by Hawaii regulators, who discovered that giving an out-of-state proprietor management of its main investor-owned utility was not within the public curiosity. 

State regulators rejected NextEra’s subsequent bid, an $18 billion provide for Texas utility Oncor, in 2017 on considerations that the deal wouldn’t defend the credit standing of the distribution utility amid the Chapter 11 chapter continuing of guardian firm Power Future Holdings Corp. 

Oncor was finally bought to California-based Sempra Power, the proprietor of San Diego Fuel & Electrical and Southern California Fuel, after Power Future Holdings rejected a competing bid from Berkshire Hathaway Power, which owns utilities together with PacifiCorp and Midamerican Power Holdings. 

In September, NextEra noticed a proposal to merge with Duke Power rebuffed as nicely, in keeping with information experiences. That deal would have mixed NextEra’s Florida utilities with Duke’s utilities in Florida, the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, in addition to Duke’s sizable portfolio of renewable vitality below its Duke Power Renewables enterprise. 

Amid this welter of mergers and acquisitions proposed or consummated, U.S. utilities have been grappling with the stress to decarbonize their era portfolios, search early retirement of financially challenged and carbon-emitting coal-fired energy crops, and in some instances, shift from aggressive era or fossil fuels companies to regulated utility companies with extra secure income prospects. 

Virginia-based Dominion Power bought its interstate pure gasoline pipeline enterprise to Berkshire Hathaway this 12 months to pay attention on its regulated utilities within the Southeastern U.S. and assembly Virginia’s new mandate to remove carbon emissions by 2045. Michigan utility DTE Power, one other utility pursuing decarbonization by midcentury, is looking for to divest from its DTE Midstream aggressive pure gasoline enterprise.

And Exelon Corp., the Chicago-based proprietor of the nation’s largest nuclear energy fleet in addition to utilities serving about 10 million prospects in Illinois and mid-Atlantic states, confirmed this month that it’s exploring strategic alternate options for its era enterprise because it prepares to shut not less than two of its nuclear energy crops below unfavorable market situations. 

Regardless of its large renewables fleet, NextEra has but to commit to a zero-carbon aim, as a substitute setting a goal to scale back its carbon emissions fee 67 p.c under 2005 ranges by 2025. That differentiates it from a rising checklist of utilities promising net-zero carbon energy by midcentury, together with Xcel Power, Duke Power, Dominion Power, Southern Firm, Arizona Public Service, NRG, PSEG,  Shoppers Power, Alliant Power and Entergy. 

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