The C-E-O of MidAmerican Energy said today he doesn’t expect any major changes for the Des Moines-based company if its purchase of a western power company is approved. MidAmerican is seeking approval to purchase PacificCorp — a utility that operates in six other states and has nearly seven million customers worldwide. MidAmerican C-E-O David Sokol was joined by company president Greg Abel today in a conference call with reporters. He says he and Abel are probably the only two MidAmerican or PacificCorp employees who have any risk, “We don’t acquire businesses and change people.” Sokol many mergers do involve combining companies and cutting employees to save money — but not this one. He says, “This is not a transaction that has anything to do with cost or employee synergy.” Sokol says the purchase is more about the factors influencing the energy business. He says the issues are fuel costs, reliability requirements, environmental regulations change and long-term regulatory change. He says they believe all the states involved face the same long-term issues and having stable ownership with access to capital is the best way to move forward. Sokol was asked how the acquisition might impact the rates charged in each state. He says, “We don’t see rates having any effect on this transaction one way or another. Other than long-term, we would hope that we could help on a permanent capital basis to have rate plans that each state is comfortable with and that benefit customers.” Nearly 81-percent of MidAmerican is owned by the Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway company run by investor Warren Buffet.
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