Councillors approve hiring London Hydro consultant

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A merger may not currently be in the cards for London Hydro, but something else could be.

London city council, meeting as the strategic priorities and policy committee, voted 10-3 Monday in favour of hiring a $30,000 consultant to conduct an asset review of the utility.

READ MORE: London Hydro’s future goes under the microscope

Josh Morgan, Mo Salih and Tanya Park voted against hiring the consultant. Phil Squire and Jared Zaifman were absent.

Once the consultant is hired, city staff will report back with information and recommendations for committee and council consideration this fall.

Options for the city include keeping the status quo, selling, acquiring other utilities or merging.

READ MORE: London Hydro ends merger talks

The call for the review comes weeks after London Hydro officials said they were in talks over a possible merger. Their merger target was St. Thomas Energy, which recently finalized a deal to merge with Entegrus, based in Chatham-Kent.

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The city of London is the sole shareholder in London Hydro.

Over the past 16 years the utility has performed very well for the city. London’s equity value in the utility has grown from $96 million to more than $148 million over that time span.

London Hydro is the seventh largest utility in the province and has given a $10-million dividend to city council the last two years.

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