SCANA shareholders vote yes for merger with Dominion, but many have reservations

 

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)–  SCANA held a special shareholder meeting to vote on whether or not they were going to approve merging with Virginia company Dominion Energy.  During the Tuesday meeting, 72 percent of shares approved the merger, but that does not mean it is a done deal.  There are a lot of lawsuits at hand, and other groups must to the deal too.

It was difficult for the SCANA executives to keep the meeting on track: many angry shareholders addressed the room, saying they feel like they are in the dark, not only as shareholders but also as ratepayers.  They also asked why the executives in charge of the failed V.C. Summer nuclear plant are looking for bonuses.

“I thought some heads should roll,” Angie McClam said, a shareholder.  McClam bought her shares in the 70s and thought SCANA would take care of her for the rest of her life. But now on her 85th birthday, she says she is having to dip into her savings to survive retirement.

“Disappointment to go from $7,800 dollars a quarter to $1,600 dollars a quarter,” McClam said. McClam is not the only one disappointed and angry. Others stood up to tell the board of directors to take a hike. One shareholder said she was an employee for many years, and SCANA was a great family, but she said family can disappoint you greatly– and justice must prevail.

“Very disappointed. I think there’s been negligence. I think the board which has an oversight responsibility has not been faithful to that charge. Otherwise this debacle would not have occurred,” Steve McLean said, a stockholder from North Carolina. McLean has SCANA stock because his North Carolina utility company merged with SCANA. Now he says this is Deja’ Vu. Though he says the first merger was handled a lot better and was a smoother transition.

Seventy-two percent of the shares approved the merger deal with Dominion. The vote comes on the one year anniversary SCANA decided to bail on the nuclear plant project.

“I was laid off a year ago today,” Michael Roberts recalls.  Roberts is not only a former employee but also a shareholder and ratepayer. He says the decision to merge with Dominion is the better one, but he completely was against the proposed bonuses for their directors and executives if the merger goes through.

“And these people are making 15 million dollars in bonuses on a failed project they were responsible for. 500 SCE&G employees and 5000 construction workers lost their jobs and they did not get this type of compensation and they were not nearly as responsible as those people in that meeting today,” Roberts said.  

Roberts was not the only one voicing concern over these bonuses– many stood up today saying they do not think it’s fair the people responsible for the failed project get paid out, and the shareholders and ratepayers are left with nothing. Those bonuses were not approved, that only gained 45% of votes, but it is non-binding– so the directors can actually overrule the decision the shareholders made at the meeting. 

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