National Grid, Scottish buy into the USA

National Grid Group plc of the UK announced in December that it is to acquire the New England Electric System for $3.2bn.

The move came quickly after the announcement that UK multi-utility Scottish Power is to acquire PacifiCorp of the USA in a stock deal valued at more than $7.6bn.

ScottishPower`s deal follows months of courting US utilities in the search for a suitable acquisition. If approved, the deal will mark the first time a foreign company has bought a US electric utility. The merger is subject to the approval of shareholders and the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

National Grid has said that New England Electric will serve as an acquisition platform from which to seek other opportunities in the northeast USA. The company`s interest in New England Electric has been prompted by the deregulation of electric power in New England.