A deadline passed over the weekend over for the proposed Florida's NextEra Energy to buy the Hawaii's main utility, but the companies said Saturday the deadline's expiration does not end the utilities' merger plans, at least not automatically.
"Under its terms, the merger agreement between HEI and NextEra Energy does not automatically terminate on June 3. Action on the part of one of the parties is required to terminate the merger after that date. That said, as of today, neither party has terminated the deal, despite the fact that June 3 has come and gone without a decision by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission," according to a joint statement released Saturday.
NextEra has proposed to buy Hawaiian Electric for $4.3 billion, and the sale was approved by Hawaiian Electric's shareholders a year ago, but the state utility regulator hasn't yet announced a decision.
NextEra had previously warned if a deal wasn't in place by last Friday, NextEra may walk away from the deal.
Critics ask whether the deal would result in energy savings for consumers, who pay some of the highest rates in the nation. Critics of the deal are also concerned whether NextEra can help HEI meet its renewable energy goals.