Bill Swanstrom, Co-Chair of Locke Lord's Energy Practice Group, discussed key merger and acquisition trends within the energy sector during 2017, including the formation of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and major mergers between independent power producers (IPPs). Regarding the emergence of SPACs, Swanstrom commented: “It remains to be seen whether this is sustainable development, but right now, SPACs continue to be formed. More and more private equity funds, including blue-chip private equity funds, are doing SPACs. It's definitely not a niche phenomenon.”
Additionally, Swanstrom noted that the separate mergers of two of the largest IPPs left in the space highlight the challenges faced by those companies. Swanstrom said: "Dynegy and Calpine, in some ways, were among the last men standing in terms of almost pure merchant generation plays. Certainly the markets have not been all that kind to those companies."
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