US group Texas Utilities has appointed Financial Dynamics and
lobbying agency Westminster Strategy as it considers launching a
counter-bid to PacifiCorp’s pounds 4 billion approach for UK utilities
giant Energy Group.
The City agency is assisting Texas as it assesses the possibility of a
bid for Energy Group and will continue to act as adviser if it decides
to go ahead. FD’s team is led by chief executive Nick Miles. He said:
’We’re still waiting to see if they bid and at what price.’ FD will
build awareness of Texas and work on strategy for any possible bid while
improving Texas’ City relations. Westminster Strategy will lobby the
Government and MPs on competition issues surrounding the proposed
Any bid by Texas is likely to be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers
Commission (MMC) in the UK and also to US regulatory authorities.
PacifiCorp’s bid has already been cleared in the UK but is still under
scrutiny in the US.
It is understood that Westminster Strategy has already accompanied
representatives from Texas to meetings with Martin O’Neill, chairman of
the Parliamentary Select Committee for trade and industry and Geoffrey
Norris, who works on trade and industry and employment issues for the
Number 10 Policy Unit.
PacifiCorp recently appointed Gavin Anderson as its PR agency (PR Week,
6 Feb). Nomura International, which had been considering a bid for
Energy Group but yesterday withdrew, used Lowe Bell to handle political
and financial relations while it weighed up making an approach. Lowe
Bell had also acted for Energy Goup in its pre-Christmas bid to have the
Pacificorp deal approved by the MMC.
Reports suggest that PacifiCorp is likely to buy around 30 per cent of
Energy Group’s shares in an effort to see off interest from any rival