Southern Co. will buy Atlanta-based utility AGL Resources Inc. for about $8 billion in a transaction announced today that will give the electricity provider a large portion of the natural gas market from New Jersey to Florida.
For Southern Co., which is also Atlanta-based, the deal is expected to accelerate long-term earnings per share by 4-5%. Under the terms of the agreement, AGL shareholders will be entitled to receive $66 in cash for each share of common stock. the deal is valued at $12 billion, including the settling of debts.
“We believe the addition of AGL Resources to our business will better position Southern Company to play offense in supporting America’s energy future through additional natural gas infrastructure,” said Southern Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning.
After closing, AGL Resources will continue to maintain its own management team and board of directors, and, as is the case with Southern Company’s other operating subsidiaries, AGL Resources will continue to maintain its own corporate headquarters. Customers will continue to be served by their current gas and electric utility companies.
AGL Resources serves about 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states.
The companies expect to complete the transaction in the second half of 2016.
With the acquisition Southern Co., which has expressed a desire to participate in natural gas infrastructure development for some time, will become the second-largest utility in the United States with 9 million customers. Only Chicago-based Exelon Corp., the largest operator of nuclear power plants in the country, is larger. The new company also would operate 11 electric and natural gas distribution companies.
“We’ve found a strong partner in Southern Company with its complementary businesses, excellent reputation and shared values,” said AGL Resources Chairman and CEO John W. Somerhalder II. “They have committed to continuing our tradition of community and philanthropic support and exceptional service to customers.”