US power company Vistra has finalised an agreement to acquire Energy Harbor Corp, which will merge into a newly-formed subsidiary of Vistra – Vistra Vision. This will combine Energy Harbor's nuclear and retail businesses with Vistra's nuclear and retail businesses and Vistra Zero renewables and storage projects. Vistra says this combination “creates a leading integrated retail electricity and zero-carbon generation company with the second-largest competitive nuclear fleet in the country, along with a growing renewables and energy storage portfolio”. The agreement was approved by both companies' boards of directors.

Vistra President & CEO Jim Burke says Vistra has been focused on responsibly transitioning its power generation profile. “Although we've made significant progress over the past several years, there are few opportunities to grow a reliable and dispatchable zero-carbon generation portfolio at scale this quickly”. He adds: “Nuclear energy provides the unique capability of being both carbon-free and a dependable, always-on source of reliable power. With the enactment of the zero-emission nuclear production tax credit, nuclear power generation now has down-side protection against lower power prices, resulting in tremendous upside opportunity compared with other generation with similar attributes."

At closing of the transaction, Energy Harbor will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Vistra Vision. Total compensation will consist of $3bn cash and a 15% equity interest in Vistra Vision. Most Energy Harbor shareholders will receive cash at closing, and the two largest shareholders, Avenue Capital Group and Nuveen, will receive a combination of cash and the 15% ownership interest. In addition, Vistra Vision will assume around $430m of net debt from Energy Harbor in the transaction. Vistra will continue to own 85% of Vistra Vision, as well as 100% of Vistra Tradition, Vistra's highly efficient gas and coal generation fleet.

Vistra Vision “will be a premier zero-carbon generation and retail growth company”. With a continuing safety-first culture, it will operate the second-largest competitive nuclear fleet in the USA with four nuclear plants totalling more than 6,400 MWe

The combined company will be led by Jim Burke. The Energy Harbor senior leadership is expected to remain with that company through at least the closing of the transaction. The combined company will be headquartered in Irving, Texas, with retail offices in Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. The companies anticipate closing the transaction in the second half of 2023 subject to certain regulatory approvals.