January 2, 2019 4:56 pm

Guelph Hydro and Alectra Utilities officially merge

Exterior of Alectra Utilities' office in Barrie.

Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Guelph Hydro and Alectra Utilities are now officially one after completing their merger on New Year’s Day.

The merged entity will retain the Alectra corporate name, according to a news release. However, for now, it will still be co-branded as Guelph Hydro and Alectra in Guelph and Rockwood for a period of time.

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“Providing customers with safe, reliable and efficient service will continue to be a top priority for our company,” said Brian Bentz, Alectra’s president and CEO. “I am certain this merger will prove to be a win-win-win situation for our customers, shareholders and the communities we serve.”

With the merger, Alectra said it is now the largest municipally-owned electric utility in Canada, by customer base, serving more than one-million homes and businesses.

Jane Armstrong — who was the Guelph Hydro board chair since 2016 — has been selected as Guelph’s representative on the Alectra board of directors.

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Guelph will also receive a 4.63 per cent stake in Alectra and receive a one-time dividend of $18.5 million and then annual dividends.

“The City of Guelph is thrilled to be a part of the utility’s ownership group. We are looking forward to developing a strong and productive working relationship with our other municipal partners in this venture,” said Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie.

Alectra’s six other municipal owners include Barrie, Hamilton, Markham, Mississauga, Vaughan and St. Catherines, along with the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS).

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Guelph Hydro’s current location will be home to Alectra’s southwest Ontario operations hub.

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Alectra will also establish the new Green Energy and Technology Centre (GRE&T Centre), which is expected to attract talent in green technologies in the region.

Before being approved by the Ontario Energy Board in October, Guelph City Council voted in favour of the merger in December 2017 in a 10-3 vote.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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