FERC earlier this week gave its blessing to the indirect mergerof two Midwest electric utilities – Wisconsin Public Service andUpper Peninsula Power.

Wisconsin Public Service serves electric and gas customers innortheastern Wisconsin and the southern tip of the Michigan UpperPeninsula. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WPS Resources, anexempt public utility holding company. Upper Peninsula Power, asubsidiary of Upper Peninsula Energy, serves power customers withinthe western Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Under the merger agreement, Upper Peninsula Energy will bemerged into WPS Resources, with WPS Resources as the survivingcorporation. The two utilities – Wisconsin Public Service and UpperPeninsula Power – will maintain their separate corporate existenceas subsidiaries of WPS Resources, according to the FERC order[EC98-27].

Although they have no immediate plans to mesh their operations,the utilities asked that FERC approval of the indirect merger givethem the go-ahead to combine their operations in the future, “evenin the absence of any additional application for such approval.”

The Commission indicated there were no market-power concernswith the merger.

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