Constellation Energy Group's leading light, Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), distributes electricity and natural gas in Maryland. Constellation Energy operates a number of independent power plants with 11,750 MW of generating capacity through its Constellation Generation unit, and it competes in retail energy supply through Constellation NewEnergy. Other operations include HVAC services, appliance sales, nuclear plant development, and energy consulting services. In 2012 the company was acquired by Exelon in a $7.9 billion industry-consolidation deal. (Constellation Energy's recent losses made it a prime takeover target).
The deal gives Exelon access to Constellation's major retail operations, enabling it to expand its retail profile. Exelon plans to consolidate its power marketing business with Constellation's retail and wholesale business under the Constellation brand.
Though the company had been selling assets in an attempt to focus on its core market and weather the economic downturn, it took heavy impairment charges and posted a significant net loss for 2010. In 2011 poor market conditions hurt the company's generation segment while a mild winter curtailed demand from the regulated segment, resulting in a decrease in overall revenues. However, lower gas commodity prices did ease Constellation Energy's net loss that year. It was still looking for a cash influx from a major player though. Enter Exelon.
Mergers & Acqusitions
Constellation had been looking to improve the quality of its assets even before the acquisition. Exploiting an opportunity to grow its power plant portfolio in New England, in 2011 Constellation Energy bought bankrupt Boston Generating Company from USPowerGen for $1.1 billion. The deal gave the company a 2,950 MW gas-powered fleet.
To grow its geographic footprint and broaden its residential customer base, in 2011 Constellation Energy bought MXenergy (one of the largest independent suppliers of energy to mass market customers in the US) for $175 million. It also bought Houston retail electricity provider StarTex Power (with 170,000 customers) for $160.4 million. – less