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Parent firm of Wisconsin Public Service bought for $9.1 billion

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Wisconsin Energy's proposed acquisition of Integrys Energy would be among the largest business deals in the Badger State in recent years.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the purchase of price of $9.1 billion is more than the $8.8 billion Caterpillar spent in 2011 to buy mining equipment maker Bucyrus International.

Also, the Wisconsin Energy deal is much bigger than the $4.1 billion that BMO of Canada spent to buy the former M&I Bank chain in late 2010.

Under the deal, the parent firm of We Energies would buy the Wisconsin Public Service utility of northeast and north central Wisconsin. Both companies say the merger would create a more diverse company that's more attractive to stockholders.

The Journal Sentinel notes that Integrys heavily expanded its involvement in natural gas utilities in recent years -- at a time when utilities saw virtually no growth in electricity sales.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)