Last UK utility merger

Southern Electric became the last UK regional electricity company to lose its single status following the announcement of a £4.8 bn ($7.82) merger with Scottish Hydro-Electric.

The deal will see Southern Shareholders owning about 55 per cent of the new company to be called Scottish and Southern Energy plc. The offer values each share at about about 539 pence. Scottish and Southern plans dividend growth of between five and eight per cent a year up to March 31, 2000.

Of the other 11 recs set up at privatization in 1990, seven are now in US hands and four have been taken over to form part of multi-utilities.

Southern`s plans in the past to tie up with National Power and later Southern Water were blocked. It is unlikely that this deal will be blocked by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and completion is expected by the end of this year.