NiSource Announces Merger Job Cuts

NiSource Inc. is losing no time in preparing for the expected Nov. 1 completion of its Columbia Energy acquisition, announcing Thursday that about 5% or 800 of the employees of the two companies have been notified their positions will be eliminated Dec. 1.

The company already announced who will be filling the top tier of the merged companies (see Daily GPI, Aug 2; Aug. 24).

The workforce reduction is aimed at eliminating redundancies and increasing efficiency. It will be accomplished by voluntary early retirements as well as voluntary and involuntary separations. They will be targeted throughout the organization geographically and at all staff levels. NiSource projects merger synergies will save about $100 million in 2001 and up to $175 million in 2004. Most of the projected savings will come from the elimination of duplicate corporate and administrative programs.

The combined company plans to take a pre-tax restructuring charge in the fourth quarter 2000. It also previously announced that it expects to strengthen its balance sheet by nearly $1.5 billion through the sale of non-core assets.

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