Beleaguered energy merchants divest key assets

US energy merchants-struggling to gain the capital they need to reduce debt and shore up their battered balance sheets-are divesting themselves of some of their key assets in recent weeks.Some of the more recent transactions include:MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. reached a definitive agreement with Houston's Dynegy Inc. to acquire Omaha, Neb.-based Northern Natural Gas Co. (NNG) for $928 million and $950 million in assumed debt.Dearborn, Mich.-based CMS Energy Corp. signed a definitive agreement to sell its oil and gas exploration and production unit, CMS Oil & Gas Co., to privately held French E&P firm Perenco SA and its affiliated companies for $232 million.Williams Cos. Inc. said ...

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