Minnesota Energy buying natural gas business

Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation (MERC), a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE: TEG), announced Sept. 3 an agreement with Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE:LNT) to acquire Alliant’s natural gas distribution business in southeast Minnesota.

MERC already serves customers near Alliant Energy’s utility operations in the state. The communities involved in the transaction are all within 25 miles of existing MERC communities.

“Our proximity to these communities makes this opportunity attractive to us,” MERC President Barbara Nick said. “We also share Alliant Energy’s commitment to safety, reliability and customer service, so customers will see a smooth transition.”

If approved, the transaction would bring about 10,600 new customers into the MERC service area. The communities involved include Adams, Albert Lea, Clarks Grove, Conger, Geneva, Hollandale, Glenville, Leroy, Lyle, Rose Creek, Taopi and Wykoff.

Cities in Fillmore, Houston and Winona counties that currently receive electricity from Alliant include: Altura, Chatfield, Fillmore, Lewiston, Ostrander, Racine, Stockton, Spring Valley, Utica, Wyattville and Wykoff.

The sale of the company’s assets requires state and federal approvals, which are expected to occur in six to 12 months. Alliant will continue to provide natural gas and customer service during this transition.