NSP, New Century Energies Merger Approved

Stock of Xcel Energy Inc., the new company created by the merger of Northern States Power Co., Minneapolis, and New Century Energies, Denver is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange Aug. 21. In mid-morning trading Thursday, stock in the two companies was trading down just under 2%.


Stock of Xcel Energy Inc., the new company created by the merger of Northern States Power Co., Minneapolis, and New Century Energies, Denver is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange Aug. 21. In mid-morning trading Thursday, stock in the two companies was trading down just under 2%.

The deal was cleared by the US Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday, creating one the nation's 10 largest electricity and natural gas companies. The new company will be headquartered in Minneapolis.

Wayne Brunetti, who will become Xcel president and chief executive officer, said the combined company will have the "size and scale that will allow us to control our own destiny as the electricity industry is restructured." Xcel Energy will serve more than 3 million electricity and 1.5 million natural gas customers in 12 state from Texas to Minnesota, and 2 million electricity customers internationally.

"Our strength will come from a base of millions of customers spread over a large area, combined with our rapidly growing nonregulated businesses like NRG Energy (formerly a Northern Power subsidiary), now the seventh largest independent power producer in the world," Brunetti said.

Earlier, New Century reported a 92% surge in 2000 second quarter operating profits, nearly doubling analyst consensus estimates. New Century attributed the increase to higher wholesale electric trading sales as the company marketed excess electricity in the western US at prices substantially higher than normal and to continuing customer growth in the areas served by its utilities.

Northern States Power Co.�s earnings for the second quarter ended June 30, 2000, were 39�/share, up from 6�/share for the same period in 1999. NSP�s second quarter earnings last year were reduced by a write-off of 14�/share for conservation incentives.

The merger is expected to result in more than $1.1 billion in cost savings over the next 10 years, the companies said.

Current New Century Energies shareholders will receive 1.55 shares of Xcel Energy stock for each share of NCE they hold. NSP shareholders will get one for one and will not be required to exchange their existing NSP stock.

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