Iberdrola takes over ScottishPower

Madrid, Spain, — (METERING.COM) — April 25, 2007 –Madrid, Spain – Spanish energy group Iberdrola’s takeover of ScottishPower has been completed, creating one of the largest energy companies in the world, with a total enterprise value of more than €65 billion.

The transaction was signed on November 27 of last year, and received sanction, as required under U.K. companies’ legislation, at the meeting of the Court of Session held yesterday in Edinburgh.

Ignacio Galán, chairman and CEO of Iberdrola, expressed his satisfaction at the closing of the transaction, saying it “marks a major milestone in the 100-year history of the company.”

With the integration of Iberdrola and ScottishPower the Group has a combined installed capacity around 40,000 MW, of which approximately 40 percent is renewable generation.

The new Group has a consumer base of 21.7 million in Europe and the Americas, with operations in Spain, the U.K., the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Greece, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Guatemala, Bolivia and Chile.

ScottishPower is an international generator and distributor of energy, with a retail business including the supply of electricity and gas to over 5 million homes and businesses in the U.K.

Taken to task over delayed meter recalibration
As the takeover was being finalized ScottishPower was being taken to task by UK energy regulator Ofgem’s chief executive Alistair Buchanan over its apparently slow response to  recalibrate customers’ token prepayment meters following recent increases in the price of electricity.

In open letters to ScottishPower head Philip Bowman and Iberdrola’s Galán posted on Ofgem’s website Buchanan said that while initial progress by ScottishPower was promising, progress had slowed with a reduction of only 5,000 in the number of token meter customers still accruing debt in March 2007.

Saying he is aware that the issue is the subject of intense political and media interest in Scotland at this moment – who are watching closely to see whether ScottishPower customers are being fairly treated – Buchanan added that he is determined to keep a close watch on suppliers’ activity in this area and will not hesitate to take further action if required.

The meters must be manually recalibrated in order to reflect changes in electricity prices and failure to do this following the recent strong upward movement in prices is potentially exposing customers to debt, in that the increased tariff is applicable from the date of the price increase but collection occurs only when the meter has been recalibrated. According to Buchanan approximately 50,000 ScottishPower meters still need to be reset.