NEWS: Maitland advises Dominion on takeover bid

Dominion Resources, the US electricity and gas company, has called in The Maitland Consultancy to advise on the communications and regulatory issues surrounding its pounds 1.3 billion bid for East Midlands Electricity.

Dominion Resources, the US electricity and gas company, has called in

The Maitland Consultancy to advise on the communications and regulatory

issues surrounding its pounds 1.3 billion bid for East Midlands

Electricity.



Hired two weeks ago, the agency has been asked to handle Dominion’s

relations with the business and financial press, devise an overall

communications strategy and provide assistance in the event of

intervention by the regulatory authorities.



The appointment was made without a competitive pitch on the

recommendation of Dominion’s financial advisers SBC Warburg and

Wasserstein Perella, both of whom have previously worked with The

Maitland Consultancy.



Consultancy chairman Angus Maitland said: ‘We are engaged in an exercise

to make sure that the company’s intentions are made clear.’



East Midlands Electricity, which earlier rejected suggestions of a

pounds 1.25 billion offer by Dominion, agreed on Tuesday night to a cash

bid at 670 pence per share. The Nottingham-based company is using its

retained agency Finsbury for financial PR, regulatory and political

advice.



Dominion Resources is the sixth US utility to attempt the take over of a

UK regional electricity company since privatisation. Although Trade and

Industry Secretary Ian Lang has waved through earlier bids, he may be

inclined to take a tougher stance in the run up to a general election.



* The Maitland Consultancy has been hired by insurance group Commercial

Union to handle press relations. The account will be managed by

consultants William Clutterbuck and Martin Leeburn. Citigate previously

held the business for seven years.



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