If there were any market bears at the 55th annual meeting of theInterstate Natural Gas Association of America, they must have beenscared into the closet by Curt Launer, vice president of theresearch department at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, and TomasA. Petrie, CEO of Petrie Parkman. Petrie sees $30/bbl oil and$3/Mcf or higher natural gas in the near future.
Articles from Meeting
NiSource Discusses Purchase with Columbia Shareholders
NiSource Chairman Gary Neale said his company has been meetingwith shareholders representing more than 30% of Columbia EnergyGroup’s outstanding common stock, including six of the eightlargest shareholders, and has found the investors eager to see thetwo companies begin negotiations on a potential merger transaction.
Avista Slows Shopping Spree, Plans Stock Purchase
At an annual meeting yesterday, Avista Corp. CEO T.M. Matthewsunveiled a new strategy that will include the purchase of 10% ofAvista’s common stock and will defer any major acquisitions soAvista can concentrate on the company’s existing energy business.
Conoco yesterday held its first meeting of stockholders in 18years following the company’s record-setting $4.4 billion initialpublic offering in October 1998, that launched Conoco’s eventualseparation from DuPont. Conoco CEO Archie Dunham said the finalsplit-off from DuPont is expected to occur in the third quarter ofthis year when DuPont will offer its shareholders the opportunityto exchange DuPont shares for Conoco shares.
BP Shareholders Approve Merger with Amoco
BP shareholders gave their overwhelming support to the company’smerger with Amoco last week. About 700 shareholders voted toapprove the merger at a general meeting at the Royal Festival Hallin London. Shareholders representing another 3.2 billion sharesvoted by proxy with 92% approving the merger. Chairman PeterSutherland called the vote a “massive endorsement” of the deal. Theall-stock transaction will result in a 60-40 equity split with BPshareholders having the majority.
Enova, PE Merger Receives Final FERC Approval
After meeting significant conditions to mitigate market power,Enova Corp. and Pacific Enterprises, holding companies of San DiegoGas & Electric and Southern California Gas, respectively,received final FERC approval yesterday of their $6.6 billionmerger. FERC approved the merger application with only minorcode-of-conduct modifications.