Texas hires PR for Energy bid

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.

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

take-over.



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

bidder.



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