Regulator rejects Iberdrola plan to buy Connecticut utility

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut regulators have taken a step toward rejecting a plan by Iberdrola, Spain's leading electricity and natural gas utility, from buying UIL Holdings Corp. in a $3 billion deal.

The state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority issued a draft decision Tuesday saying that Iberdrola has not provided "any measurable or quantifiable commitments" that assure regulators that ratepayers will not be harmed.

In the deal announced early this year, the company would serve 3.1 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New York.

Representatives of the two companies did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

Regulators said Iberdrola did not adequately propose measures known as "ring-fencing" to shield against financial risks to UI Holdings and its subsidiaries, United Illuminating, Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas.

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