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FirstEnergy, Allegheny Energy begin combined operations

February 25, 2011

AKRON, Ohio — FirstEnergy Corp. announced Friday that its merger with Allegheny Energy Inc. has closed, effective Friday, marking the beginning of combined operations.

It also plans to reintroduce the utility operating names - Potomac Edison, Mon Power and West Penn Power - to Allegheny Power customers, according to a news release.

The company also announced that it will locate regional headquarters for Maryland utility operations at Allegheny Power's existing central distribution center in Washington County.

The facility was chosen because it is centrally located, can accommodate the Potomac Edison management organization and is already equipped with the company's information technology infrastructure, according to the release.

James V. Fakult, the newly appointed president of Maryland operations, and his staff will be based in Washington County.

West Virginia operations will be headquartered in Fairmont, W.Va. The current Allegheny Energy headquarters building in Greensburg, Pa., will become the regional headquarters for West Penn Power utility operations, according to the release.

"We are pleased to have completed our merger and look forward to delivering to our customers, shareholders and employees the significant benefits of a larger, stronger company," FirstEnergy President and Chief Operating Officer Anthony J. Alexander said in the release.

The merger is expected to improve the diversity of power generation, lead to modest rate credits for Allegheny's customers and allow for more backup for repairs after major outages, officials with the two utility companies have said.

FirstEnergy, based in Akron, Ohio, announced in February 2010 that it would buy rival Allegheny Energy for about $4.7 billion in stock. The deal creates one of the nation's largest power companies, with customers from Ohio to New York.

The merger received final regulatory approval Thursday when the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approved the deal.

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