Columbia Energy Group’s (CG) board once again told NiSource, inno uncertain terms, to take a hike yesterday and urged CGshareholders to reject NiSource’s $68/share ($5.7 billion) hostiletakeover offer. NiSource took its offer to shareholders June 25 andsaid it will continue to fight for the deal. It had no tally ofshares tendered as of yesterday but said numbers would be availableby the weekend.
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Representing the latest curve on what has become a very windyroad, Southwest Gas announced Wednesday it is reviewing SouthernUnion’s revised merger offer even though it already entered into amerger agreement with Oneok earlier this week. With two offers onthe table, Southwest Gas has said it will not comment further onthe subject until a decision is made, and industry analysts say thedecision will not be easy.
Moving right along on the road to increased Canadian productionand exports, the provincial government in British Columbia hastaken the first step toward removing regulatory roadblocks bycreating a single agency to deal with the oil and gas industry andlocating it in producer territory. The B.C. government alsoanounced it has made peace with native communities on behalf of theindustry.
A road block to retail competition in Oklahoma was smashed lastweek when Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating vetoed Senate bill 565, alast-minute attempt to derail gas unbundling in the state. The billwould have pushed back the effective date for unbundling untilOctober 2001 and erased the final rules completed by the OklahomaCorporation Commission in April and approved by the legislature andthe governor.