Potential Merger Between We Energies and WPS

Wisconsin Energy Corp., the parent company of We Energies, is planning to buy Chicago-based Integrys Energy Group Inc., the parent company of Green Bay-based WPS, for $9.1 billion. The combined company would be called WEC Energy Group Inc., be headquartered in the Milwaukee metro area and serve more than 4.3 million gas and electric customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota. It would become the 8th largest natural-gas utility in the country and hold 60% ownership of American Transmission Company (ATC) as well. It has been reported that the companies would continue to have separate rates if the merger is approved. The merger could potentially delay the need for a new generation plant near Appleton that could slow utility bill increases but the impacts on customer rates is not known at this time. State regulatory commission reviews will likely put conditions on the merger/acquisitions. Between Federal and state regulatory commission reviews in each state, the transaction may be completed by summer 2015. For more information see JSDailyReporter, and NYTimes.