Merged utility keeping options open for HQ site

Wisconsin Energy Corp. announced this week that it plans to acquire Integrys Energy Group Inc. for $9.1 billion in cash and stock, creating WEC Energy Group Inc., the eighth largest natural gas distributor in the country.

Wisconsin Energy Corp. said it plans to keep its corporate headquarters in the “metropolitan Milwaukee area” once the deal is completed, but didn’t commit to a City of Milwaukee headquarters. Wisconsin Energy Corp. is currently headquartered at 221 W. Michigan St. in downtown Milwaukee.

“At this point all we know is that accommodating a headquarters for us, a combined company, is going to have an impact on our space,” said Rick White, vice president of corporate communications at Wisconsin Energy Corp. “We’ll have operational headquarters in the city as we do now, Green Bay and Chicago. But just looking at our current facilities and what we have now, what we might need, we just don’t know.”

White said he expects WEC Energy will be bringing employees of the combined company to the headquarters, but isn’t sure yet how many might be transferred to or hired in the Milwaukee area. The deal isn’t expected to close and pass regulatory approval until summer 2015.

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