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Emera’s acquisition of TECO Energy approved

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The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) has approved a final order authorizing the $10.4 billion acquisition proposed by Emera Inc. to acquire TECO Energy, and the indirect acquisition of New Mexico Gas Company.

Emera’s acquisition of TECO Energy was announced in September 2015 as a $10.4-billion, all-cash deal. The acquisition will reportedly allow New Mexico Gas to focus on expansion plans for the transmission and storage side of its business.

The companies filed an unopposed stipulation agreement with the NMPRC April 13, stating they believed the settlement would be in the public interest. The deal is expected to close on or about July 1. It has received approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and TECO shareholders.

Emera has agreed to keep a minimum of 675 full-time jobs in the state and commit $10 million to communities that are unserved or underserved and $5 million for enlarging a pipeline from its current system to the New Mexico/Mexican border to enhance the state’s ability to export gas to Mexico.

The topics of retaining jobs and expanding a pipeline from New Mexico into Mexico were two items of focus that received much attention from the commission.

When Commission Chair Valerie Espinoza asked Emera and New Mexico Gas Company executives about their $33 million project in southwest Albuquerque and expressed her concern regarding any proposed projects in northern New Mexico, their response affirmed projects are planned for northern New Mexico.

Espinoza continued to express her hopes that underserved areas of rural New Mexico and northern New Mexico shall be addressed in the near future in terms of service and infrastructure.

“The commitment made by Emera Inc. to invest in New Mexico will result in great opportunities for our state,” Commission Vice-Chair Karen Montoya stated.

“It allows decisions to be made locally (in New Mexico) by a Board of Directors,” Commissioner Lynda Lovejoy said of the acquisition being unanimously approved by the commission. “In addition, millions of dollars will be made available for matching funds that will help build-out and improve unserved and underserved areas.”

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