New Jersey regulators approve Southern, AGL Resources merger

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has given Southern (NYSE:SO) approval for its combination with AGL Resources (NYSE:GAS), marking the final regulatory approval needed for the transaction.

BPU issued unanimous approval, the two companies said June 29. AGL Resources is the parent company of Elizabethtown Gas, a regulated utility providing natural gas distribution services to customers in New Jersey.

The BPU’s decision represents the final regulatory approval needed to close the previously announced merger, which was unanimously approved by state regulators in each of the six required jurisdictions in just 10 months. Subject to the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, Southern and AGL Resources intend to close the transaction around July 1.

Both Southern and AGL are based in Atlanta. Southern has become an increasingly large user of natural gas in recent years.

Meanwhile, Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) is also working toward completion of its merger with Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE:PNY).

When completed, the combination of Southern and AGL is expected to create the second-largest utility company in the U.S. by customer base, bringing together:

•Eleven regulated electric and natural gas distribution companies providing service to approximately 9 million customers;

•Operations of nearly 200,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines;

•More than 80,000 miles of gas pipelines; and

•Approximately 44,000 MW of electricity generating capacity.

For more information about the proposed merger, visit www.doingenergybetter.com.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.