UtiliCorp United agreed to sell its West Virginia Power divisionto Allegheny Energy Inc. for $75 million in cash. In addition,separate transactions include a 20-year supply agreement forUtiliCorp’s Aquila Energy unit to provide gas to Allegheny, and anagreement for Allegheny to purchase Appalachian Electric Heating,UtiliCorp’s heating and air conditioning service operations in WestVirginia. A spokesman said details of the gas supply and otheragreements are confidential.

West Virginia Power is based in Fairlea, WV. Its 122 employeesserve about 50,000 electric and gas customers.

“We have been examining options to enhance West Virginia Power’sability to grow and strengthen its operations, and the offer fromAllegheny represents a solution that best serves the long-terminterests of the communities involved, our West Virginia customers,and UtiliCorp employees and shareholders,” said Richard C. GreenJr., UtiliCorp CEO.

“Allegheny is a strong player in Eastern energy markets, andwe’re confident that West Virginia Power will play an importantrole in its plans for growth in the state and the region,” Greensaid. UtiliCorp acquired West Virginia Power’s electric operationsin 1987 and in 1990 added the West Virginia gas system. Subject tofederal and state regulatory approvals, the deal is expected toclose sometime in the first quarter of 2000.

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