US: $9.1B Midwest energy deal may spark merger spree

Wisconsin Energy Corp. announced Monday that it has entered into a deal to acquire one of its rivals in a merger that will affect millions in the Midwest and potentially spark a new merger spree in the energy industry.

According to reports, Wisconsin Energy will buy natural gas provider Integrys Energy for $9.1 billion. Together, the new company will service 4.3 million customers in the area, reports say.

While utility mergers had declined in this year’s first quarter compared to 2013’s last quarter, Wisconsin Energy’s announcement has the potential to spark a new round of deals in the sector.

Following the acquisition, the new company, to be known as WEC Energy Group, will be the nation’s seventh-largest public gas and electric utility, reports say.

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