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Concerns raised about Canadian company's bid to acquire NY power utility

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Two administrative judges have expressed concerns about Fortis Inc.’s planned $1.5 billion takeover of the CH Energy Group, which supplies electricity and gas to New York’s Hudson River Valley.

Judges Rafael Epstein and David Prestemon said in an advisory opinion Friday that the loss of local ownership of the New York utility might lead to “unquantifiable” detriments for customers.

Fortis is based in Canada. CH Energy is the parent of the Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp., which has a long history in the region.

Some New York politicians, unions and residents have objected loudly to the proposed merger, which has yet to be approved by state utility regulators.

The judges stopped short of saying the merger should be rejected.

A message left at Fortis headquarters Saturday wasn’t immediately returned.