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Entergy And ITC Continue Transaction Approval Process With Arkansas Public Service Commission Filing

Stocks in this article: ETRITC

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. and NOVI, Mich., Sept. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Entergy Arkansas, Inc., in conjunction with ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) and ITC Midsouth LLC, filed a request today at the Arkansas Public Service Commission to spin off the Arkansas electric transmission business and merge it into a subsidiary of ITC.  The Arkansas filing continues the multi-state and federal regulatory process seeking approval for the transaction announced last year by Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) and ITC.

The transaction is a significant step toward meeting the challenges facing the entire electric industry –challenges driven by the need to upgrade infrastructure, modernize equipment and meet growing environmental and compliance requirements. The Arkansas filing aligns with the companies' regulatory schedule and is responsive to the timetable set forth by the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC).

"This initiative lays the groundwork for the 21 st century electric grid serving Arkansas and the region," said Hugh McDonald, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Arkansas, Inc. "It results in two companies that are stronger in many ways – operationally, financially, and strategically – and that are best positioned to meet the growing demands placed on the electric industry."

Entergy is seeking approval to transfer more than 15,800 miles of interconnected transmission lines at voltages of 69kV and above and the associated substations to ITC. ITC will then be one of the largest electric transmission companies in the U.S., with more than 30,000 miles of transmission lines spanning from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast.  In Arkansas, ITC would serve wholesale customers including Entergy Arkansas and other entities using Entergy's transmission lines such as the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and the municipal electric authorities of the cities of Jonesboro, Conway, West Memphis, and Osceola, as well as independent power producers.  Meanwhile, Entergy's operating companies will continue to own and operate their respective distribution and generation businesses and will provide customer service, billing, outage reporting and restoration services to homes and businesses in the region. 

ITC Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph L. Welch noted that ITC is looking forward to being a strong corporate citizen in the state.  "While our operations span many states, our commitment to the communities we serve is the cornerstone of our business and our mission to be best-in-class transmission service providers," he said.  "We look forward to bringing our expertise and partnering spirit to Arkansas and the entire region to meet future energy demands."

Rationale and Results

The need for more infrastructure investment is among the many challenges confronting the U.S. electric industry.  The electric industry, including Entergy's operating companies, faces growing capital investment requirements to maintain and upgrade infrastructure, meet environmental regulations and serve an energy-intensive economy.  The transaction addresses these challenges head-on and produces numerous benefits, including:

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