By Geert De Lombaerde
The New Mexico Supreme Court has turned away an appeal by PNM Resources Inc. and Avangrid Inc. to send back to state commissioners the companies’ plan for Avangrid to buy PNM in a deal worth more than US$8 billion.
The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission in late 2021 denied the application to have PNM and Avangrid join forces, citing concerns about Avangrid’s Maine utilities and an inquiry into alleged spying of three executives of Iberdrola, the Spanish parent of Avangrid. The commission has since been reconstituted and the companies had asked the Supreme Court to dismiss their appeal of the 2021 denial and let the commission hear their case a second time.
But the court on May 15 said it will not dismiss the appeal and instead scheduled oral arguments on the case Sept. 12. The ruling comes a month after PNM and Avangrid executives extended the deadline to complete their proposed transaction for a second time, setting July 20 as their new target date.
That means the companies will need to push their deadline again should they still wish to complete their deal. A spokesperson for PNM told T&D World leaders of the company, which serves more than 800,000 homes and business and last year had revenues of about US$2.2 billion, are reviewing the court’s order.
Shares of PNM Resources fell more than 5 per cent May 15 after trading in them was halted pending news of the court ruling. Avangrid stock, the trading of which also was halted, gave up nearly 3 per cent May 15.