The leaders of Central Vermont Public Service Corp. and Gaz Métro Limited Partnership have announced that a definitive agreement for the sale of CVPS has been signed. This clears the path for the combination of CVPS and Green Mountain Power Corp., a subsidiary of Gaz Métro, into one stronger utility for Vermonters. According to CVPS, the new agreement provides benefits for customers, community, employees and shareholders, including $144 million in customer savings over 10 years, a Vermont ownership interest in VELCO, and the establishment of the Headquarters for Operations and Energy Innovation in Rutland.

The all-cash transaction will provide CVPS shareholders $35.25 per common share, a 45 percent premium over the closing price of $24.32 immediately prior to the announcement of the previous agreement CVPS had reached with Fortis Inc. The CVPS board has terminated the agreement with Fortis after deeming "superior" the offer from Gaz Métro.

"The CVPS Board, first and foremost, had a legal responsibility to ensure the best possible deal for shareholders, but the board also wanted to ensure the best possible outcome for our customers, employees and the communities we serve, Rutland in particular," said Bill Sayre, chairman of the CVPS Board of Directors. "GMP shared that vision, and our agreement serves all of these constituencies, and ensures CVPS's historic commitment to Rutland will continue."

A contiguous service territory and one Operation Headquarters will streamline storm response to restore power faster and reduce the overall frequency and duration of outages, CVPS announced. Also, with the benefit of the combined utility's information technology resources, it will be able to move basic services online more swiftly, and allow customer service representatives to provide more personalized service, which will be especially important for the implementation of the statewide Smart Grid initiative.