Wisconsin Energy to buy rival

Wisconsin Energy Corporation says it has entered into a “definitive agreement” to acquire Integrys Energy Group for $5.71bn in cash and stock, creating a combined company that would be the state’s largest wind power generator.

Integrys shareholders will receive $71.47 a share on a 74%-26% stock-cash basis. That values the proposed deal at more than 17% over Integrys’s Friday closing price of $60.95.

With assumption of debt and other consideration, the company values the deal at $9.1bn. It requires regulatory approvals.

The combined company would be called WEC Energy Group with roughly 4.3 million electric and natural gas customers in four states – Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Energy has about 308MW of company-owned wind generating capacity in the state while Wisconsin Public Service, part of Integrys, will contribute 108MW.

Wisconsin had 648MW of installed wind capacity as of 1 January, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

A Wisconsin Energy spokesman tells Recharge it may take one year for the transaction to close.