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The board of directors of New York State Electric and Gas Corp. today urged its shareholders to reject an unsolicited buyout offer from a Midwestern energy company.

Directors agreed unanimously that the offer from CalEnergy Co. Inc. "as not being in the best interests of the company or its shareholders, customers, employees or other constituencies."

CalEnergy has offered to pay $27.50 per share for all of NYSEG's 69 million shares.

Meanwhile, NYSEG also announced that it has reached agreement with the state Public Service Commission on a plan to guide it through the state's transition to a competitive energy market.

The plan would freeze residential and commercial electric rates through July 2002 and reduce costs to larger commercial and industrial users 5 percent yearly for five years. The utility would sell off its fossil fuel generation plants.

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