Business Report: How it works when one company wants to acquire - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Business Report: How it works when one company wants to acquire another

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaiian Electric this week announced it's no longer interested in being acquired - by anyone - and plans to remain independent. Now, technically, it's not up to them. Any company that thinks it can afford it can make a bid to acquire any other company.

Most corporate CEOs don't like to be taken off and kicked out, but they have a responsibility to their shareholders to do what's best for them, even if it's not the best thing for them. The solution to that often is to let one CEO take over and the other one gets a parachute so golden he's happy to bail.

Now, what about Hawaiian Electric? What's different about that situation is, it's a regulated utility, and any prospective buyer has just learned that Hawaii regulators can't be counted on to knuckle under. 

Ordinarily, not wanting to be taken over would not be enough to deter a buyer, but in this case, the combination of Hawaiian Electric's new found sense of independence, combined with the knowledge that the PUC actually acts in the public interest from time to time, may indeed make even a guy like Warren Buffett think twice about whether he really wants to own power in Paradise.

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