AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 14 - FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) today announced that its shareholders have overwhelmingly approved proposals related to the company's proposed merger with Allegheny Energy (NYSE:AYE).
Results indicate that the first proposal - authorizing and approving issuance of FirstEnergy shares and the other transactions contemplated by the merger agreement - was approved by 79.1 percent of the outstanding shares of common stock and 97.6 percent of the shares of common stock voted. The second proposal - amending the articles of incorporation to increase the number of FirstEnergy shares of authorized common stock - was approved by 78.7 percent of the outstanding shares of common stock, and 97.1 percent of the shares of common stock voted. Approval of the proposals required an affirmative vote representing a majority of the approximately 305 million FirstEnergy shares of common stock outstanding, as of the July 16, 2010, meeting record date.
"The overwhelming support we've received from our shareholders underscores the value we believe this combination represents to our company," said Anthony J. Alexander, FirstEnergy president and chief executive officer.
In a presentation at today's Special Meeting of Shareholders in Akron, Ohio, Alexander said the merger would "grow our customer base, service area and utility assets; enhance and strengthen our generating fleet; and create significant benefits for our shareholders, customers and employees."
"Allegheny is a natural fit for our company," Alexander added. "We share a regional footprint, as well as common cultures and a similar business model. And, through this merger, we expect to strengthen our balance sheet, increase our earnings, and create new opportunities for future growth."
The merger is expected to close in the first half of 2011, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval of Allegheny shareholders and state and federal regulatory agencies, as outlined in the joint proxy statement/prospectus mailed to shareholders.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Its subsidiaries and affiliates are involved in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, as well as energy management and other energy-related services. Its seven electric utility operating companies comprise the nation's fifth largest investor-owned electric system, based on 4.5 million customers served within a 36,100-square-mile area of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey; and its generation subsidiaries control approximately 14,000 megawatts of capacity.
Source: FirstEnergy Corp.
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