The Pepco Holdings-Exelon merger was sailing along — approvals had been received from regulatory agencies in Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. But the last approval step for the merger was the District of Columbia’s Public Service Commission (PSC), which voted against approving the merger. Without their approval, years of work and millions of dollars would be lost.
Both companies quickly moved to implement a two-pronged strategy. The companies would work an “inside game” to get the District’s PSC to reconsider the merger. Putnam Partners was hired for the “outside game” of explaining the benefits of the merger to Pepco’s customers.
One of the lines of attack against the merger was that it would deprive the District and its surrounding areas of the benefits that the locally owned Pepco had provided.
We used community leaders from the Urban League, the Salvation Army, former Mayors, local small business owners, and local residents to explain that all the previously provided benefits would remain and increase if the merger were approved. As a result of this “inside-outside” strategy, the District’s PSC reconsidered the merger and ultimately voted to allow it to go forward.