Delaware regulators concerned about Exelon-NRG deal

NEW YORK Thu Jan 8, 2009 7:11pm EST

NEW YORK Jan 8 (Reuters) - Delaware regulators expressed concern about Exelon Corp's (EXC.N) hostile bid for independent power producer NRG Energy Inc (NRG.N) on Thursday, saying that Exelon has not proven that planned sales of Delaware plants are in the public interest.

While the state lacks approval power over the deal, Delaware's Public Service Commission and its Department of Natural Resources made their worries known in a filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Exelon filed an application for approval of the deal with FERC in December, even though NRG's management has rejected the takeover proposal.

Chicago-based Exelon has said that if it succeeds in buying NRG, it would sell two NRG plants in Delaware and a third in Maryland. It would also sell power plants in Texas.

The Delaware regulators said that the sale of NRG's Indian River plant could hurt energy reliability in the state and disrupt environmental improovements NRG has begun at the site.

"Exelon has the burden to prove that the proposed merger with NRG is consistent with the public interest. Exelon has not met its burden," the regulators wrote.

Exelon, the largest nuclear power company in the United States, made its unsolicited stock offer for independent power producer NRG in October. NRG has said the offer is too low.

Investors owning nearly 46 percent of NRG's shares have tendered their stock under the offer through Jan. 6. (Reporting by Michael Erman, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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