We take a close look at challenges associated with utility convergence

By: Danny Freeman and Ross Shuldberg

After a dip in merger and acquisition activity in 2008 and 2009, the utility industry is again pursuing transactions as a path to profitable growth and value. Convergence is the unification or merging of processes or systems that serve similar business purposes across operating companies into a single, shared, and unified approach — is often a key to deriving the value intended from a merger or acquisition. While identifying the benefits of convergence can be relatively easy, the efforts necessary to realize those benefits can be extremely challenging. This article highlights the convergence challenges that can prevent utilities from realizing transaction goals, then outlines a framework for executing successful convergence, based on our experience working with an array of utilities engaged in mergers and acquisitions. Utilities that employ this approach to convergence find themselves well positioned to deliver value to customers and shareholders.