April 10, 2013

On 1st merger anniversary, NU stock up 23%

Photo | Pablo Robles
Photo | Pablo Robles
Since former NStar chief Tom May took over as CEO and president of Northeast Utilities, the financial services sector has taken a more favorable view of the company, hailing its strong management team.

In the one year since Northeast Utilities' $5 billion merger with NStar, the company's stock rose 22 percent, outpacing the market and its smaller New Haven counterpart.

On April 10, 2012, Hartford-based NU and Boston-based NStar officially merged after negotiating with regulators and pushing toward a business transaction first proposed publicly 18 months prior.

On Wednesday – the one year anniversary of the merger – NU's stock was trading at $44.11, up 23 percent from the $35.91 when the companies finalized the acquisition.

"We are proud of our progress, which is a direct result of the collaborative work of every NU employee," NU spokesman Al Lara said. "We delivered upon our financial and operating goals while meeting shareholder expectations."

NU's stock outperformed both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500, which each grew 15 percent over the past year. The stock of Connecticut's other major utility parent company, New Haven-based UIL Holdings, grew 21 percent in the same time period.

The merger brought a significant amount of change to NU's operations, including having former NStar head Tom May take over as NU president and chief executive. NU's CEO and president at the time of the merger, Charles Shivery, is non-executive chairman and will retire in October.

After the merger, the executive teams of the two companies were joined together, and the company became dually headquartered in Boston and Hartford.

"Looking ahead, our continued focus on collaboration and enhanced customer service will drive our success," Lara said.

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