Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Energy Corp. today completed its $9.1 billion acquisition of Integrys Energy Group.
The company has received final written approval from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and the Illinois Commerce Commission, the last pieces in the puzzle for the acquisition to close. The deal needed the blessing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, both companies’ shareholders, the Federal Communications Commission and utility oversight boards in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.
Wisconsin Energy, parent company of We Energies, first announced last June that it planned to acquire Chicago-based Integrys, parent company of Green-Bay based Wisconsin Public Service Corp. The new company, WEC Energy Group, is the eighth largest natural gas distributor in the U.S. WEC will have its corporate headquarters in the “metropolitan Milwaukee area,” with operating headquarters in Green Bay and Chicago. It will serve 4.4 million electric and natural gas customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.
WEC Energy Group has almost $29 billion in assets, 9,300 employees and about 60,000 stockholders of record. Its principal utilities are We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, Michigan Gas Utilities and Minnesota Energy Resources. Its other major subsidiary, We Power, designs, builds and owns electric generating plants.
Gale Klappa will serve as chairman and chief executive officer of the new company. Allen Leverett will serve as president for Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. Charles Matthews will serve as president for Illinois. Jerry Franke will serve as president of Wispark.
Wisconsin Energy also added three of Integrys’ board members to its nine-member board: Retired A.O. Smith CEO Paul Jones, William Brodsky and Albert Budney, Jr. Jones also serves as a co-chair of Milwaukee-based water research, education and economic development organization The Water Council.
Investors reacted positively to the transaction. Wisconsin Energy’s stock was up 1.2 percent this morning, to $46.76 per share. Shares of Integrys will be removed from the New York Stock Exchange before trading opens Tuesday. Integrys shareholders will receive 1.128 shares of Wisconsin Energy common stock and $18.58 in cash per share held just before the transaction closed.
“The new era that begins today has its roots in world-class customer service and exceptional shareholder value,” Klappa said. “Our goal in combining these strong Midwestern companies is to build a leader in the energy industry that will thrive for decades to come.”