Exelon seeks acquisition

3 April 2002

Exelon is looking to acquire a smaller, integrated utility this year, co-CEO John Rowe announced recently. "Our ideal range would be something a third to half our size." The company's capitalisation is $36 billion. When it was formed, by the merger of Philadephia's PECO and Chicago's Unicom in 2000, Rowe and co-CEO Corbin McNeill said that they hoped to make an acquisition by the end of 2001. No deal emerged last year, so the company focused on adding generation assets: a strategy culminating in the December 2001 purchase of two gas-fired plants producing a total of 2334MW from Dallas-based TXU, a deal worth $443 million.

Exelon says it seeks "geographical diversity" from its next acquisition. Some media reports have speculated that it is targeting the eastern half of the USA.

Boss retires early The chairman and co-CEO of Exelon, Corbin McNeill, is to retire from the company 20 months sooner than expected.

Under the merger agreement that created Exelon in October 2000, McNeill had been scheduled to retire this spring, but to remain with the company as co-CEO and on the board of directors until 31 December, 2003.

A transition period provided that McNeill, who was PECO's president, chairman and CEO, and John Rowe, his counterpart at Unicom, were to share the CEO position for three years, with Rowe to become chairman and sole CEO at the end of the period.

In a statement, Rowe said: "Under Corbin's stewardship, PECO became a great company. Together, we have made significant progress toward completing the integration of PECO and Unicom under the Exelon banner. The board is grateful for Corbin's leadership and contributions."

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