M&A activity was moderate year over year for the U.S. electric, multi-utility and independent power producers sectors in the third quarter of 2019. Asset deal volume more than halved compared to the year-ago quarter, but increased in aggregate transaction value from $3.30 billion to $3.77 billion. Four company deals were also announced during the period.
The largest whole-company deal in the U.S. power sector during the third quarter is the announced acquisition of retail energy marketer Ambit Energy Holdings LLC by Vistra Energy Corp. The all-cash deal valued at $475 million deal was announced on Aug. 20 and is expected to close in the fourth-quarter this year.
Out of the 29 asset deals announced in the third quarter, the largest in terms of value deal was announced on Sept. 6, when the city of San Francisco offered to acquire PG&E Corp. subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s electric transmission and distribution assets within the city limits for $2.5 billion. PG&E, which is going through a bankruptcy reorganization, declined the city's offer, saying, "we don't believe municipalization is in the best interests of our customers and stakeholders." The local union representing most of the utility's unionized workers also objected to the city's proposal.