Tierna Unruh-Enos is publisher at The Paper.

Photo courtesy Avangrid Facebook

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After months of testimony and amendments, a New Mexico Public Regulation Commission hearing examiner filed a report with the state’s five commissioners recommending they reject the proposed merger between PNM Resources and AVANGRID.

PNM is the state’s largest utility company and AVANGRID is a Connecticut-based company and subsidiary of Spanish energy conglomerate, Iberdrola. The initial merger was announced in October of 2020 when PNM Resources, which owns Public Service Company of New Mexico and Texas-New Mexico Power Company, announced that it had entered into an agreement with Avangrid, which has $32 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states.

Joanie Griffin, AVANGRID’s spokesperson for New Mexico, said, “We are analyzing the decision and examining the pathways for moving forward to approval and closing. We are hopeful that ultimately the Public Regulation Commission will approve the merger, which will bring more than $300 million in benefits to New Mexico, will create hundreds of new jobs for New Mexicans and provide millions of dollars in contributions to non-profit organizations. Importantly, 23 out of 24 intervening parties either support or do not oppose the merger, including the Public Regulation Commission Staff. We remain committed to putting PNM customers first and utilizing Avangrid’s and Iberdrola’s financial strength and resources to help New Mexico meet its decarbonization goals more quickly and efficiently.”

The PRC has received the recommendation and after the commission has reviewed the findings, they will make a final decision. If approved by the PRC, AVANGRID would acquire PNM Resources and its two utility subsidiaries – PNM and Texas-New Mexico Power Company–in an all-cash transaction valued at around $4.3 billion. That decision could come by the end of this month.