Hawaiian Electric Squashes Berkshire Takeover Rumors

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Hawaiian Electric, the electric utility for all of Hawaii, is not for sale according to company spokesmen, noting that “the company is not currently in discussions with any other party regarding a business combination and does not intend to initiate any such discussions.”

Berkshire Hathaway has been actively seeking energy assets, and is currently bidding for Oncor Electric Delivery Company, a regulated electric transmission and distribution service provider that serves 10 million customers across Texas.

Rumors of a bid for Hawaiian Electric by Berkshire Hathaway heated up after the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission denied NextEra Energy’s bid to acquire Hawaiian Electric. The denial of NextEra’s application appeared to open the door for a bid by Berkshire Hathaway Energy. However, Hawaiian Electric is not interested.

Thanks, But No Thanks

Hawaiian Electric released the following full statement:

“Although Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) has a long standing policy of not commenting on market rumors and speculation, in view of the frequent questions raised by various stakeholders since the recent termination of the company’s merger agreement with NextEra Energy, HEI is deviating from this policy in this instance.

The business and affairs of HEI are managed under the direction of its boards of directors. In accordance with its fiduciary duties, the boards have determined that it is in the best interests of the company and all of the stakeholders that it serves – including shareholders, customers, employees and communities – to remain independent and to work toward realizing the clean energy future and vibrant local economy we all want for Hawaii. In this regard, and despite statements reported in the media about other unnamed parties rumored to be interested in acquiring HEI, the company is not currently in discussions with any other party regarding a business combination and does not intend to initiate any such discussions.

The company will not provide any updates to the above statement nor otherwise comment on market rumors or speculation.”

Never Say Never

While the statement doesn’t completely slam the door shut, it’s not exactly an invitation to bid. One of the biggest hurdles is local opposition to any outside ownership due to fear of rising rates.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.