Wisconsin Energy-Integrys deal gets federal approval

The acquisition of Integrys Energy Group Inc. by Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Energy Corp. has been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The WE Energies parent plans to buy Integrys, the parent of Green Bay-based Wisconsin Public Service Corp., for $9.1 billion in cash, stock and assumed debt. The new company would be called WEC Group, and would serve more than 4.3 million electric and natural gas customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.

It’s one of several critical approvals for the transaction. The companies are still seeking the thumbs up from the Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota public service commissions.

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission plans to take up the issue in mid- to late-April. The Michigan Public Service Commission expects to have the transaction on its agenda in late April. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission plans to take it up in early May. And the Illinois Commerce Commission planned on making a decision by July 6, but has been asked by the Illinois Attorney General, city of Chicago and Illinois Citizens Utility Board to extend its schedule for review by three months. Wisconsin Energy has expressed its dissatisfaction with that development.

If Wisconsin Energy receives all the regulatory approvals, it is aiming to complete the transaction in the second half of the year.

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