The finance order allowing Reliant Energy to securitize up to $750 million of stranded costs is approaching its mid-September expiration date, sources note, meaning the deal is likely right around the corner. Sources familiar with the offering expect an official announcement by early September.

The finance order, filed in June of 2000, gives the company a 15-month window for which to close its planned securitization. Reliant Treasurer Mark Kilbride confirmed the company's plans to officially unveil its offering in the coming weeks.

The company recently received approval from the Securities & Exchange Commission to bring the offering to market. Merrill Lynch has won the mandate to lead-manage the offering.

This deadline has no bearing on the scheduled deals from fellow Texas-based utilities TXU Corp. and Central Power & Light, a unit of American Electric Power Inc., although officials for both companies said offerings are expected before year-end.

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