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Exelon wins D.C. consideration for revised Pepco takeover

Exelon Corp.’s second attempt to complete its $6.8 billion takeover of utility Pepco Holdings Inc. will be considered by the District of Columbia Public Service Commission.

The commission voted unanimously to take another look at the proposed deal after Exelon announced a settlement with Washington’s mayor earlier this month. The latest deadline set for filings in the case is Dec. 18, according to an order read by Betty Ann Kane, who chairs the panel.

Exelon had asked the commission to consider its settlement with Mayor Muriel Bowser that includes a more than doubling of customer credits as part of its planned takeover of the district’s utility. The commission rejected Exelon’s original proposal in August, saying it would not benefit customers.

“Expedited review of the settlement removes some headwinds,” Shahriar Pourreza, a New York-based analyst for Guggenheim Securities LLC, wrote in a research note Wednesday. Exelon still must sway at least two of the three commissioners and may face demands for better terms in states that have already approved the deal, he said.

The schedule allows for a decision in the first quarter of 2016 giving “all parties and the public a fair opportunity to present their positions and ensures that the commission has a complete record to render its decision,” Exelon said in an emailed statement.

Pepco jumped 3 percent to $26.74 at 1:33 p.m. in New York. Exelon fell 0.2 percent at $28.50.

Exelon Chief Executive Officer Chris Crane has threatened to walk away from the deal unless the district approves it within five months. Washington’s approval is the final hurdle Chicago-based Exelon needs to clear. Adding Pepco would make Exelon the largest U.S. utility owner with networks in Washington, Chicago, Baltimore and Philadelphia.