Hydro One pulls out of Peterborough Distribution Inc. sale

No reason given for withdrawal from controversial sale approved by Peterborough City Council in December 2016

Peterborough Utilities Group

Hydro One is withdrawing from negotiations for the sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc., according to a joint media release issued today (March 9) by the City of Peterborough and Peterborough Utilities Group.

The media release provides no information on the reasons for Hydro One’s withdrawal from the negotiations.

Hydro One approached the city in 2014 to express interest in purchasing PDI. In October 2016, City of Peterborough Holdings Inc. — the city’s private corporation that owns Peterborough Distribution Inc. (PDI) — recommended the city accept an offer from Hydro One.

The offer included $105 million in cash, a reduction of electricity distribution rates by one per cent for existing PDI customers, a freeze on distribution rates for five years, a promise to protect jobs for PDI employees for one year, and a new Hydro One operations centre and fleet maintenance garage in Peterborough.

In December 2016, Peterborough City Council decided to accept the offer from Hydro One, despite strong opposition from members of the community.

Shortly after the City of Peterborough issued its media release, Ontario Hydro issued a similar release that also provides few details on why the negotiations fell through.

“The role of both parties in these commercial negotiations is to ensure that the end result is an outcome that creates customer and shareholder value,” the release states. “In this particular case, despite the strong offer made to the City of Peterborough, the two parties were unable to achieve that balance.

“Hydro One would like to thank Mayor Bennett, the City of Peterborough and members of both negotiating teams and looks forward to continuing its relationship as long-time neighbours and proud members of the Peterborough community.”

This story will be updated when more information is available.

Peterborough residents gather at the Market Hall on March 4, 2016 for a public information meeting on the proposed sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc., where Mayor Daryl Bennett (pictured in the front row) reiterated his support for the potential sale (photo: Paul Rellinger / kawarthaNOW)
Peterborough residents gather at the Market Hall on March 4, 2016 for a public information meeting on the proposed sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc., where Mayor Daryl Bennett (pictured in the front row) reiterated his support for the potential sale (photo: Paul Rellinger / kawarthaNOW)

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