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WPS Resources' $1.52B Purchase of Peoples Energy to be Complete Feb. 16

Green Bay, WI-based WPS Resources Corp.'s $1.52 billion acquisition of Chicago-based Peoples Energy Corp. cleared its final hurdle Thursday as the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) gave its verbal approval to the proposed merger of the companies, which was first announced on July 10, 2006 (see Daily GPI, July 7, 2006; July 11, 2006). The companies said the transaction will close following the commission's written order, which is expected to be issued Feb. 16.

Upon closing, the new company will be known as Integrys Energy Group Inc., and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TEG. The combined company will have assets of about $10.3 billion and its market capitalization is expected to exceed $4 billion. On the regulated side, the company will have more than 1.6 million natural gas customers and nearly half a million electric customers, with operations in four states: Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. The regulated utilities will maintain their corporate names in each of the company's service territories.

On the nonregulated side, Integrys Energy Services will provide energy marketing services in Texas, the midwest and northeast United States and parts of Canada. Integrys also owns Peoples Energy Production, a natural gas exploration and production company headquartered in Houston.

"The PSCW's approval is the final one required to make our merger a reality," said WPS Resources CEO Larry L. Weyers, who will lead Integrys. "After months of work and anticipation, we are ready to roll up our sleeves and combine the companies into a world-class organization. We intend to continue the positive work the two companies have been doing, so that consumers, employees and shareholders may share the benefits of our merger."

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