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Wisconsin Energy Corp. CFO: Restructuring Electric Power Industry Will Help Utilities and Consumers

NEW YORK, Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Restructuring the electric power industry is an opportunity for smart utilities to increase shareholder value by focusing on customer needs, says Calvin Baker, chief financial officer of Wisconsin Energy Corp. (NYSE: WEC).

"I look upon this era as a renaissance of the electric power industry -- a time of rebirth," Baker said in a speech Thursday afternoon to The Center for Business Intelligence.

Experience with other companies, including those in deregulated industries, shows that companies succeed by meeting consumer needs and by rethinking the value provided by each business in a corporation's portfolio, Baker said.

"The best approach puts consumers at the head of the table," Baker said. "Consumers will benefit, and shareholder value will grow as a result, if we put in place a system that embraces broad markets, low prices and maximum competition."

In addition, Baker said, "restructuring the industry will require us to restructure our businesses."

"Tomorrow's marketplace will no longer look at the value of the 'integrated utility of the past,' but will evaluate each energy company and its unique portfolio of businesses," he said. "The mix and combination of businesses within each enterprise are likely to be different, creating different market expectations of opportunities for increases in shareholder value."

Congress is expected to consider legislation next year to restructure the electric power industry. Baker said Wisconsin Energy Corp. advocates a national strategy. "If Congress does not act -- if Congress defers to the states -- it will be implicitly endorsing a patchwork of potentially incompatible restructuring by the states," Baker said.

Wisconsin Energy Corp. is involved in utility and nonutility businesses. Its principal subsidiary is Wisconsin Electric, which is among the lowest-cost energy suppliers in the United States and is a leading proponent of competition in the electric power industry. Wisconsin Electric serves about 2.3 million people in Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. SOURCE Wisconsin Energy Corp.
 -0- 11/22/96

/CONTACT: Rick James of Wisconsin Energy, 414-221-4444 or, fax, 414-221-2884/


CO: Wisconsin Energy Corp. ST: Wisconsin IN: UTI SU:

ER -- DCF023 -- 5938 11/22/96 15:16 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 22, 1996
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