The Ontario Energy Board has approved the proposed merger of Veridian Connections Inc. and Whitby Hydro Electric Corporation.
On December 20, 2018, the Ontario Energy Board approved the proposed merger of Veridian Connections Inc. and Whitby Hydro Electric Corporation. It is currently projected that the merger of the two companies will occur early in the second quarter of 2019.
We believe that significant benefits can be realized for our customers, communities, employees and other stakeholders. A combined company, through its larger size, will allow us to achieve savings for our customers and shareholders through greater efficiencies, innovations, and competitive strength. Our assessments to date show that customers will, on average, experience approximately 3 per cent lower rates than they otherwise would have as customers of Veridian or Whitby Hydro alone. A merger is our best opportunity to mitigate against future rate increases and maintain 100 per cent local ownership by the communities we serve.
A key objective of this merger is to strengthen our ability to deliver cost-effective, reliable energy services to the communities and the municipalities we serve. Our assessments to date show that, on average, customers of the merged company will experience approximately 3 per cent lower rates than they otherwise would have as customers of Veridian or Whitby Hydro alone. Merging is also our best opportunity to mitigate against future rate increases as we can achieve greater economies of scale, find efficiencies and develop competitive strength in a combined company.
We anticipate merging the two companies early in the second quarter of 2019.
Business expenses incurred to evaluate the potential merger were fairly shared between the two parties and paid from retained corporate earnings. These business expenses have no impact on customer rates or planned shareholder dividends.
We expect this merger to result in greater efficiencies overall. We also expect one of the significant benefits to be our ability to effectively mitigate against future potential rate increases on the cost of distribution of electricity. An increased scale of operations will also enable the merged company to expand and improve services for customers.
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