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Top 5: ‘A whole new growth engine’

The biggest news this week was probably the announced merger between Constellation Energy and Exelon Corp., but BGE also made headlines, as it announced that electric bills for its customers would soon be getting smaller. Those stories and more in this week’s staff-written business top 5.

If Exelon Corp. is successful in its acquisition of Constellation Energy Group Inc., Baltimore could become a hub of energy trading and benefit from the addition of jobs, but it would come at a cost — the loss of the city’s only Fortune 500 company headquarters.

On Thursday, the boards of directors of Exelon and Constellation signed off on an all-stock deal valued at $7.9 billion. Under the terms of the deal, Constellation shareholders would get 0.93 shares of Exelon for each share of Constellation. Based on Wednesday’s closing price of Exelon’s shares, Constellation stockholders would receive shares valued at $38.59, an 18 percent premium.

2. BGE electric customers to see 14% rate dip – by Ben Mook

Electric bills are about to get smaller for Baltimore Gas & Electric customers as prices are set to dip just in time for summer.

Maryland’s largest utility said Tuesday that the average annual residential default, or “standard offer service,” rate will decrease about 14 percent. The rate will drop on June 1 and will be in effect through May 31, 2012.

3. Constellation deal doesn’t have change of control payments – by Ben Mook

A few years ago, during the last effort to sell Constellation Energy Group Inc., CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III stood to make nearly $50 million under a clause in his employment contract dealing with change of ownership at the company.

But officials said Thursday that will not be the case if the proposed acquisition of Constellation by Chicago-based Exelon Corp. closes in early 2012, as scheduled.

4. Baltimore says goodbye to William Donald Schaefer – by Melody Simmons

The city streets began to fill with mourners and those with signs saying “Thank you” and “Rest in Peace” one hour before the motorcade arrived in Baltimore from the State House in Annapolis.

At Lexington Market, two tables held a pair of baskets decorated with delicate purple African violets, ribbons and a purple butterfly with a card of gratitude. The baskets were sitting on Paca Street at the entrance to the market awaiting the hearse.

5. Mayor suggests new federal facility on site of 1st Mariner Arena – by Steve Lash

Baltimore’s deteriorating 35-year-old federal courthouse must be rebuilt or at least refurbished, even if it takes a partnership of public and private funding to do it, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other civic leaders told U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin at a field hearing he called on the building’s status.

Cardin was more than receptive, saying in a statement after the hearing that the courthouse was “built on the cheap” and that its deficiencies “compromise the safety of judges, staff and public” who use it every day.