All eight ERTH shareholders approve pursuing merger with Goderich Hydro

By Bruce Chessell, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

(Postmedia Network file photo)

(Postmedia Network file photo)

ERTH Corporation announced Wednesday that it is closer to merging with Goderich Hydro.

On Aug.10 all of ERTH's eight municipal shareholders unanimously agreed to pursue the merger with West Coast Huron Energy Inc. (Goderich Hydro).

The merger will take place between Erie Thames Powerlines and West Coast Huron Energy Inc., and, in return, the Town of Goderich, the sole shareholder of West Coast Huron Energy, will receive shares in ERTH Corporation and a seat on the board of directors.

Both companies have had a long ongoing partnership for over 15 years, and executive assistant at ERTH Corporation, Eustacia Young, said ERTH has been assisting West Coast Huron Energy Inc.

"This has been a long working relationship that we've had with Goderich Hydro and we've kind of seen this coming for a while," Young said. "We've been helping them manage their utility for some time now."

Young added that they now have to work towards final negotiations, legal agreements and due diligence.

"It's a rigorous process to go through all of the due diligence," the executive assistant added. "But we kind of understand each others business and we've been intertwined and working together for some time, so we see it being a positive thing."

After all parties have completed with their due diligence, the proposed merger will then be sent to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for final approval, which could take up to six months.

ERTH's president and CEO Chris White told the Sentinel-Review last month that he anticipates nothing but positive impacts for the communities ERTH operates in.

"Better service, better reliability (and) lower rates, so there will be many efficiencies gained," White said about the merger. "This will give us the added horse power to navigate through the new utility landscape going forward as the customer expectations start to change."