Cambridge, North Dumfries and Brantford Councils Approve Energy Merger

Posted on Monday August 30, 2021

                                                                                 

Cambridge, North Dumfries and Brantford, ON (August 30, 2021)  - Councils for the City of Cambridge, the Township of North Dumfries, and the City of Brantford voted in favour of a merger between Energy+Inc. and Brantford Power Inc. during special council meetings held earlier this evening.

This decision follows a comprehensive merger analysis and public consultation process. An application will now be submitted to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for regulatory approval. The OEB process reviews many aspects of the merger, including a “No Harm Test”, that ensures the proposed merger is in the best interest of ratepayers. The merger would take place following OEB approval.

The new combined company will continue to be 100% municipally-owned (City of Cambridge 54.3%, City of Brantford 41%, and Township of North Dumfries 4.7%). The merger is expected to create many positive benefits for customers and communities, including:

  • Stable and competitive distribution rates
  • Continued presence in local communities for the long term, creating ongoing employment
  • Greater capacity to focus on future growth and advancements in technology
  • Enhanced opportunities for innovative service solutions for customers and local businesses
  • Strengthened customer response, with 24/7 control room capabilities across entire service area
  • Increased efficiencies; less duplication of services
  • A larger entity is capable of withstanding significant changes in the economy (e.g. impact of COVID-19)
  • Increased shareholder value, providing enhanced dividends for each community

Brantford Power and Energy+ have a strong long-standing relationship and often share equipment and personnel in times of emergency. Together, they co-own and maintain a transformer station on Powerline Road in Brantford and share space in Brantford Power’s Operations Centre in Brantford.

Energy+ and Brantford Power collectively employ about  200 people. The new combined energy company will service more than 109,000 residential and business customers and if OEB approved will become the 7th largest utility in Ontario, based on customer count. The municipal shareholders will continue to sit on the new company’s Board of Directors and have a strong voice in the governance of the new company.

QUOTES

As we grow and evolve, this is an exciting opportunity and good fit for all involved. Our energy and customer service needs are changing at a rapid pace. This is a step in the right direction as we work toward more robust energy services and rate stability for our residents, while dividends continue to be invested in key municipal services.”- City of Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry.

The Township welcomes the merger as this transaction will strengthen the presence of local service delivery of hydro-electricity to our respective communities. We know that the energy field is evolving and this merger will assist in responding better to this transition while still maintaining rate stability for our residents and businesses going forward.”  -  Township of North Dumfries Mayor Sue Foxton

“I am very encouraged by the outcome of this long and comprehensive review process. Residents in all three communities who will benefit from the newly formed partnership should be rest assured that this merger was very thoughtfully considered by all parties involved, and I’m confident the OEB will come to the same conclusion. I also want to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Mayors, all those who contributed input to the public engagement campaign, and all staff who worked so hard on this initiative over the last eighteen months, resulting in this very positive development.” – City of Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis


MERGER EXPLORATION TIMELINE

 

February 2020

Internal Steering Committee established by holding companies to review opportunities for a potential merger.

 

September 2020

Boards of Directors of holding companies, Brantford Energy Corporation and Cambridge and North Dumfries Energy Plus Inc., reviewed the merger opportunity and recommended municipal shareholders consider merger exploration discussions.

 

October 2020

Councils for the City of Cambridge and the Township of North Dumfries appointed a Shareholders Strategic Advisory Committee to review the recommendations to consider the merit of participating in merger exploration discussions. Council for the City of Brantford appointed a Brantford Energy Task Force to review the recommendations.

 

November 2020

The Council for the City of Cambridge voted to accept the Shareholders Strategic Advisory Committee’s recommendation to sign a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore a possible merger. The Council for the Township of North Dumfries voted to accept the Shareholders Strategic Advisory Committee’s recommendation to sign a joint MOU to explore a possible merger. City of Brantford accepted the Brantford Energy Task Force’s recommendation to sign a joint MOU to explore a possible merger.

 

December 2020

A MOU was signed by all municipalities, the City of Brantford, the City of Cambridge, the Township of North Dumfries, together with the holding companies Brantford Energy Corporation and Cambridge and North Dumfries Energy Plus Inc. The Memorandum of Understanding is a non-binding agreement for all parties and includes next steps relating to the merger exploration.

 

January to June 2021

The municipal shareholders each conducted comprehensive and independent due diligence reviews of financial, legal and business matters.

 

June to August 2021

Residents, businesses and stakeholders in the communities are invited to Ask a Question or comment on a potential merger through a comprehensive public engagement process.

 

August 30, 2021
The municipal shareholders, the City of Brantford, the City of Cambridge and the Township of North Dumfries pass motions to proceed with a merger. Shareholders’ Agreement, Merger Agreement and other legal documents are drafted and signed by municipal shareholders and the holding companies.

 

September 2021

File Mergers, Acquisitions, Amalgamations and Divestitures (MAADs) application with the Ontario Energy Board.

 

First Quarter 2022

Ontario Energy Board reviews Mergers, Acquisitions, Amalgamations and Divestitures (MAADs) application for the merger of Brantford Power and Energy+ Inc. Approval is required from the Ontario Energy Board to confirm that the potential merger is in the public interest.

  

BACKGROUND

 

June 24, 2021 – News Release

Oct 8, 2020News Release

Oct 1, 2020News release

  

PRIMARY MEDIA CONTACTS:

City of Cambridge    

Susanne Hiller            

hillers@cambridge.ca

 

Township of North Dumfries

Andrew McNeely       

amcneely@northdumfries.ca

 

City of Brantford

Maria Visocchi           

mvisocchi@brantford.ca