Ontario Judge Blocks Hydro One IPO

An Ontario judge has blocked Hydro One Inc.'s C$4.52 billion ($2.87 billion) stock sale, saying that the government left out provisions for initial public offerings in the 1998 act breaking up its energy monopoly. Two unions opposed to the sale of government assets challenged the IPO, which would have been Canada's biggest. They said that the electrical utilities should not be for profit, and Hydro One's sale would lead to more pollution and higher power prices. While the ruling by Superior Court Justice Arthur Gans is a setback for the government's plan to open the energy market to competition next month and pay down debt, investors said they do not expect it to scuttle the sale. With their majority, the governing Progressive Conservatives can push through legislation to sell Canada's biggest electricity distributor. The government “has the ultimate authority, so I expect this will only be a minor blip in the process,” said Enterprise Capital Management Inc. President Jim Doak.

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