UtiliCorp United said it plans to issue seven million shares ofcommon stock with net proceeds to be used to reduce short-termdebt and other short-term obligations incurred for acquisitions,construction and repayment of long-term debt, and other generalcorporate purposes.

In October, UtiliCorp acquired an additional 41% of Power NewZealand’s common stock through a series of transactions for about$206 million, increasing its total ownership to 78.6%. Since thenPower New Zealand has announced additional spending of $243 millionto buy TransAlta’s Wellington-based lines business. The net effectof these transactions is expected to be at least 10 cents accretiveon a pro forma basis to UtiliCorp’s earnings per share, more thanoffsetting dilution from the additional shares being issued.

The new UtiliCorp shares issued increase shares outstanding by13%. The offering is expected to be concluded by the middle ofDecember. The company also announced its intention to split itscommon shares 3-for-2 in early 1999 pending various regulatoryapprovals. UtiliCorp’s last common split, also 3-for-2, was in1987. Currently there are approximately 52.1 million shares ofUtiliCorp common stock outstanding.

©Copyright 1998 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. Thepreceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, inwhole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent ofIntelligence Press, Inc.