NRG Energy, the owner of many of the power plants around Houston, made an unsolicited bid for Calpine, the San Jose/Houston-based company that just emerged from bankruptcy.
If the $9.6 billion bid is succesful it would create the largest independent electricity producer in the U.S. and most likely the largest producer in Texas (right up there with Luminant, which was formerly known as TXU Power).
Inside Calpine’s Houston offices.
Thad Hill, head of NRG’s Texas operations, reminded us of the rules that prohibit companies from controlling more 20 percent of the generation capacity in the state, so if such a merger took place there would likely be some 4,000 megawatts in capacity sold off. Which ones is hard to say, but it could include those NRG currently has in mothballs.
A list of NRG’s power plants are here and the list of Calpine plants is here.
And if a deal does go down, chances are there will be some consolidation on the corporate front, with a combining of the Houston staffs. Calpine has about 700 local workers, while NRG has about 180 (not including the power plant workers). Calpine’s offices are at 717 Texas (right next to the Chron) while NRG is in the Fulbright Tower at 1301 McKinney. 717 Texas (called the Calpine Center pre-bankruptcy) is the newer building and it likely has plenty of vacant space given the recent departure of many of the former Burlington Resources workers that officed there before ConocoPhillips acquired them.
A few related links:
The letter investor Harbinger Capital wrote to Calpine essentially spilling the beans on NRG’s overtures and telling the company to “go for it.”
NRG’s announcement of the deal, including the letter they sent Calpine last week.