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Southwest Gas-Oneok Merger Aces Nevada PUC

Southwest Gas-Oneok Merger Aces Nevada PUC

Oneok's proposed merger with Southwest Gas received a big shot in the arm last week, as the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUCN) unanimously approved the deal two months ahead of schedule. Although approval is still needed from Arizona and California regulators as well as Southwest Gas shareholders, both companies are confident the merger will be completed in the previously announced fourth quarter 1999 timeframe.

"Nevada's utility regulators have carefully scrutinized our merger proposal and determined that it serves the public interest," said Michael Maffie, CEO of Southwest Gas. "This is the first of three state utility regulatory approvals that we must obtain before we can complete the combination of our two companies. We expect that Nevada's endorsement of our merger will set the tone for regulatory consideration by the Arizona Corporations Commission (ACC) and California Public Utilities Commission." The merger already has been cleared by the SEC.

Oneok and Southwest first agreed to a deal last December. It will be one of the nation's largest gas distribution companies, serving 2.6 million people.

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