Aquila Buys GPU International, Power Assets

Aquila Energy, a subsidiary of UtiliCorp United, said yesterday it has reached a definitive agreement to buy GPU Inc.'s subsidiary GPU International Inc., including its interests in six U.S.-based generating plants and a development generating project, for $225 million.

GPU's interests in the generating plants represent about 500 MW of capacity, plus it owns a half interest in the 715 MW development project. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year, at which time corporate employees of GPU International will be considered for transfer to Aquila, according to Kansas City, MO-based Aquila.

Upon completion of the transaction, Aquila will control more than 3,500 MW of generation in operation, construction or under active development, the company said.

The purchase will be accretive to UtiliCorp's earnings. GPU reported it expects to realize an after-tax gain on the sales of $60 to $80 million to be reflected upon the closing of the transaction. The net process will be used by GPU to reduce outstanding debt.

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