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U.S. Utility Deal Rejection Casts Shadow on Foreign Buys

  • Louisiana regulator said deal not in customers' best interest
  • Cleco's shares slid in New York ahead of state's decision
Updated on

Louisiana just delivered a warning to the growing ranks of foreign companies looking to snap up U.S. utilities for their regulated returns.

On Wednesday, the state’s Public Service Commission rejected a $3.4 billion takeover of utility-owner Cleco Corp. by an investor group led by Sydney-based Macquarie Group Ltd.that also includes Canadian pension funds. The commission decided in a 5-0 vote that the deal wasn’t in the best interest of customers.