3/15/2000

AEP-CSW MERGER GAINS APPROVAL FROM FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION

Columbus, Ohio, and Dallas, March 15, 2000 -- The pending merger of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and Central and South West Corp. (NYSE: CSR) took a significant step toward completion today when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted to conditionally approve the merger. "A merger like ours requires approvals from many state and federal agencies, but the FERC's approval is our biggest step forward to date," said E. Linn Draper Jr., AEP's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We've always considered the FERC's approval to be very critical." Conditions placed on the completion of the merger by the FERC include: -- Transfer of control of the company's transmission system to a fully functioning, FERC-approved regional transmission organization by Dec. 15, 2001. This is the same implementation date included in the commission's general order for regional transmission organizations that applies to all transmission-owning utilities. -- Two interim transmission measures related to calculation and posting of available transmission capacity and independent market monitoring. "While we need time to examine the order, on the surface it seems the conditions placed on our merger are ones we can address," Draper said. "We're prepared to do that and quickly move forward toward completion of the merger." AEP and CSW announced their intention to merge on Dec. 22, 1997. The merger of two of the nation's lowest-cost electric utilities will create a company with approximately 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, more than 4.7 million customers in 11 states and approximately 4 million customers outside the U.S. Efficiencies gained through the merger will result in at least $2 billion in savings over 10 years. The savings will be shared by customers and company shareholders, with customers receiving 55 percent of the savings. "The FERC examined our merger in detail to determine its impact on consumers and the marketplace in general," Draper said. "More than 100 parties intervened in this merger, raising numerous issues. We worked diligently to address the issues and we reached settlements with the vast majority of the intervenors. "It's extremely gratifying to have the FERC's approval. Now we can focus on gaining the remaining approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) so we can complete the transaction in the spring," Draper said. "We filed with the SEC in October 1998, but in utility mergers the SEC action typically comes after the FERC has completed its work." The merger application was originally filed at FERC in April 1998. The commission set the merger for hearing, which began June 28, 1999, and was completed on July 19, 1999. On Nov. 23, 1999, the administrative law judge who presided over the FERC merger hearing found the AEP-CSW merger to be consistent with the public interest. The merger has received antitrust clearance from the Department of Justice and has received the necessary approvals from state regulatory commissions. Upon completion of the merger, the new company will be called American Electric Power. Central and South West Corp. is a global, diversified public utility holding company based in Dallas. CSW owns four electric operating subsidiaries serving 1.7 million customers in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas; a regional electricity company in the United Kingdom; other international energy operations and non-utility subsidiaries involved in energy-related investments, telecommunications, energy efficiency and financial transactions. AEP, a global energy company, is one of the United States’ largest investor-owned utilities, providing energy to 3 million customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. AEP has holdings in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Australia. Wholly owned subsidiaries provide power engineering, energy consulting and energy management services around the world. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.

For More Information, Contact: For American Electric Power Pat Hemlepp 614/223-1620 For Central and South West: Larry Jones 214/777-1276

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