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Ontario Trims Plan for a Privatization

June 13, 2002

By THE NEW YORK TIMES

TORONTO, June 12 — Ontario's conservative government backtracked today on plans for the total privatization of Hydro One Inc., the province's dominant power-distribution company.
The privatization, which was originally scheduled to take place this month through a public stock offering, would have been the biggest in Canadian history, with a value of about 5.5 billion Canadian dollars ($3.6 billion). BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., RBC Dominion Securities Inc. and Goldman, Sachs were named earlier as the lead underwriters.

Ernie Eves, who took over as the province's premier last month, said the province would retain a stake of at least 51 percent in Hydro One. The government is still considering selling up to 49 percent, or it may set up an income trust, he said.

In April, the government's opponents successfully petitioned a court to stall Hydro One's planned privatization.

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