Minnesota approves Wisconsin Energy deal

Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Energy Corp. received the approval of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Friday, and is waiting on the approval of just one more state before it can finalize its $9.1 billion acquisition of Integrys Energy Group.

The WE Energies parent’s acquisition of Integrys, the parent of Green Bay-based Wisconsin Public Service Corp., has also been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Michigan Public Service Commission and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. It is still awaiting approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission, which is scheduled to make a decision by July 6.

The new company would be called WEC Energy Group, and would serve more than 4.3 million electric and natural gas customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.

Wisconsin Energy Monday declared pro rata dividends in expectation of the deal being completed ahead of its next common stock dividend record data.

Wisconsin Energy’s board declared a pro rata dividend of $0.0046 per share per day will accrue from May 15 to the day before the acquisition is finalized. The dividend would be payable to shareholders of record as of end of business on the day before the acquisition.

Following the acquisition, a pro rata dividend of $0.0049 would accrue from the day the acquisition is finalized to August 14, Wisconsin Energy’s normal record date. It would be paid out on September 1 to shareholders of record as of August 14.

Wisconsin Energy’s pro rata dividends are 8.3 percent higher than its current quarterly rate, and will put Integrys and Wisconsin Energy shareholders on even footing in terms of dividends.

If the acquisition does not close by August 15, shareholders of record as of August 14 would receive the regular quarterly dividend of 42 cents per share on September 1.

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