Vistra (NYSE:VST) officials told the financial community Tuesday that they are excited about the company’s recent acquisition of Energy Harbor, which will more than double its zero-carbon generation currently online and that they expect to close by year-end.
“We’ve talked about closing this in the fourth quarter, and I think that is achievable. So far, so good,” CEO Jim Burke told financial analysts during the company’s first-quarter earnings call.
The Irving, Texas-based company announced in March it was purchasing Energy Harbor, a spinoff from FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE), for $3 billion and assuming $430 million in debt. The company plans to combine Energy Harbor’s nuclear plants and its retail business in the MISO and PJM footprints with its nuclear, retail, renewables and battery storage assets into a new subsidiary called Vistra Vision. (See Vistra Pays more than $3 Billion for Energy Harbor.)
Burke said the regulatory approval process is progressing well and that the key filings have been made. The deal must be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice, FERC and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“We believe the NRC is working towards an early October approval,” he said. “To be on the six-month track for a license transfer, we think, is actually on the more efficient side of the scale.”
Should the transaction close, it will give Vistra about 7.8 GW of zero-carbon generation and make it the second largest operator of nuclear plants in the U.S., with six reactors producing more than 6.3 GW of power. The Energy Harbor platform would also increase the company’s retail customer count to about 5 million.
“I like our retail, and we like our integrated model,” Burke said.
Vistra will add another 350 MW of zero-carbon energy when it completes the third phase of its Moss Landing energy storage facility in California later this summer.
The company reported quarterly ongoing operations adjusted EBITDA of $771 million, compared to $1.19 billion for the same period last year. It uses adjusted EBITDA as a performance measure because, it says, outside analysis of its business is improved by visibility into both net income prepared in accordance with GAAP and adjusted EBITDA.
Vistra’s share price closed Tuesday at $24.60, a gain of $1.22 for the day.