Once approved, the merger is expected to be finalized in January of 2018. In the meantime, it will be business as usual for both companies, dedicated to maintaining and continuously improving service to their regions and their commitment to outstanding customer service.
Entegrus submitted a proposal for the merger on November 15, 2016. The proposal had unanimous approval of the St. Thomas City Council and support by both the St. Thomas Energy’s and Entegrus’ Boards.
St. Thomas Mayor, Heather Jackson, is excited by the merger, which is one of many Hydro consolidation projects currently happening in the province of Ontario. “I believe this will be a very successful venture. Both Entegrus Powerlines and St. Thomas Energy are forward thinking, progressive companies with a focus on innovation. I look forward to seeing the positive impact on our community.” says Jackson.
Chatham-Kent Mayor, Randy Hope, echoes Jackson’s excitement and is looking forward to the merger strengthening both communities, saying that Entegrus and St. Thomas Energy are excellent corporate citizens who share a focus on providing dedicated local service.
“We are pleased to see transactions that will benefit our citizens, and this is truly one of them,” says Hope. “Safe, reliable power is imperative for our community, and the union of these two companies will strengthen their ability to quickly respond to our local needs.” Electricity rates in and around St. Thomas as well as Chatham-Kent will continue to be low, and competitive.
The parties believe the merger will improve customer service. The location of the offices will allow the combined utility to efficiently cover their service areas from Wheatley, to St Thomas to Parkhill, ON. As well, with an increased human resource pool, more innovation and creativity will be fostered that will help meet the demands of the evolving electricity market.
The new utility will provide employment guarantees and will maintain offices in St. Thomas, Chatham and Strathroy, and will become the 11th largest utility in Ontario. Both companies state that customers will reap the benefits of a larger utility that is locally owned and operated, with strong customer service and fast operational response times.
Entegrus Powerlines, which currently serves over 40,000 customers and has over 100 employees, believes that this merger will benefit both utilities. Jim Hogan, President and CEO of Entegrus, feels very optimistic about the deal and is excited for the approval process to move forward.
“We're very fortunate to have found a partner in St. Thomas Energy to voluntarily join forces with. Together, we will combine our expertise in order to meet and exceed the demands of this ever-changing industry,” says Hogan.
St. Thomas Energy Interim CEO, Robert Kent, also sees the merger as a win-win for both companies and especially for customers who will benefit from the deal.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with Entegrus,” says Kent. Our customers and employees will benefit from this partnership as our companies have aligned vision and values, with complementary service offerings.”
Part of the due diligence phase includes public consultation in 2017.