Wisconsin Energy to acquire Integrys

In one of the largest transactions involving a Wisconsin company in years, Wisconsin Energy, parent of We Energies, will purchase Chicago-based Integrys Energy Group, parent of Green Bay-based Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) in a $9.1 billion deal, creating a four-state utility with 4.3 million customers and about 9,300 employees.

The deal will combine Wisconsin Energy’s and Integrys’ electric and gas utilities, as well as WPS, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, Minnesota Energy Resources, and Michigan Gas Utilities. The combined company, to be named WEC Energy Group, will also own 60% of Pewaukee-based American Transmission Co., which owns area power lines.

Wisconsin Energy will pay $5.8 billion in cash and stock for Integrys ($71.47/share) and take on $3.3 billion in debt.

Regulatory approvals must first be acquired from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state commissions in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota. Representatives from Wisconsin Energy believe the transaction will be completed next summer.