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Maryland regulator approves $4.5bn merger of AltaGas and WGL

EBR Staff Writer Published 05 April 2018

Canada’s AltaGas and US-based public utility WGL have secured approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission for their $4.5bn merger.

The Maryland Commission, which voted 4 to 1 in favor of the merger, has put forth certain conditions to the two companies in its approval.

By mid-April, AltaGas and WGL have to tell the Commission whether they agree to the new conditions under which they have to provide certain benefits to the state of Maryland and its residents.

WGL chairman and CEO Terry D. McCallister said: “We are confident that our combination with AltaGas will benefit residents, businesses and the economy of Maryland.

“We appreciate the Commission’s careful consideration of the many positive benefits this merger brings to the state as they thoroughly evaluated our application. We are reviewing the Commission’s final order and will provide our joint response as soon as possible.”

As per the merger deal announced in late January, the Canadian energy infrastructure company AltaGas had agreed to acquire WGL by paying the latter’s shareholders $88.25 per share to boost its natural gas distribution business. The total value of the deal was C$8.4bn ($6.42bn), which also included the assumption of WGL’s debt.

WGL is the owner of Washington Gas which supplies natural gas to more than one million customers throughout Washington, D.C. and the surrounding region.

Following the merger, the combined company is expected to have an enterprise value of around $17bn with natural gas rate base assets of about $3.4bn.

Prior to the approval from the Maryland regulator, the merger had been cleared by Virginia, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Department of Justice, and the Committee on Foreign Investment.

The merger now needs one more regulatory approval, which is from the District of Columbia Public Service Commission (DC PSC), before it can be finalized. A decision from the DC PSC in this regard is expected to be taken in mid-2018.


Image: AltaGas wants to acquire WGL to boost its natural gas distribution business. Photo: courtesy of Tuelekza/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.