Merger proposed between northwest Arizona, Canadian utilities

KINGMAN, Ariz. — The largest natural gas and electric service provider in northwest Arizona would merge with Canada’s largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility under a proposal unveiled Wednesday.

Fortis Inc. would acquire all of the outstanding common stock of the Tucson-based UNS Energy Corp. in a $4.3 billion transaction subject to approvals by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Arizona Corporation Commission.

UNS shareholders must also approve the deal for it to go through.

UNS shares that hovered just above $46 as the proposal was announced would be purchased for $60.25 per share in cash — a nearly 31 percent premium.

A statement indicated that Fortis has total assets of about $17.6 billion, serving more than 2.4 million customers across Canada, in New York state and the Caribbean. It said UNS Energy services 242,000 customers in northern and southern Arizona.

Fortis also would acquire Tucson Electric Power, the UNS subsidiary that serves 412,000 electric customers in southern Arizona.

The transaction is expected to take up to one year to complete.


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