Columbia Pipeline Group Inc. stockholders have approved TransCanada Corp.’s proposed acquisition of the company. The stockholders met June 22 at a special meeting to discuss the deal, which was announced March 17.
Holders of 95.33 percent of Columbia’s shares present and voting at the meeting voted in favor of the merger, with 77.48 percent of company’s outstanding shares present and voting at the meeting.
According to the agreement, TransCanada will acquire Columbia for $13 billion (USD) including approximately $2.8 billion of assumed debt. The acquisition represents an opportunity for TransCanada to invest in an extensive growing network of regulated natural gas pipeline and storage assets in the prolific Marcellus and Utica shale gas regions.
“We are very pleased with the support of Columbia’s stockholders. Today’s vote is an important milestone that moves us closer to completing this acquisition and creating one of North America’s leading natural gas transportation and storage companies,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and CEO. “Columbia’s assets and development projects are managed by a dedicated employee base with experience and a commitment to operating safely, and we look forward to working with them.”
Columbia’s stockholder approval is the final major condition to the closing of the merger. The completion of the transaction remains subject to certain other customary closing conditions, but companies anticipate that the closing of the transaction will be effective July 1.
“This acquisition provides TransCanada with a unique opportunity to invest in a proven, growth focused company with a competitively positioned and growing network of regulated natural gas pipelines and storage assets in the Appalachian region, the fastest growing production basin in North America,” Girling added. “Together, we bring greater options for our customers to get their products to markets through one of North America’s largest natural gas transmission networks. Our combined $25 billion in near-term growth opportunities supports, and may augment, an expected eight to 10 per cent annual dividend growth rate for our shareholders through 2020.”
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission granted early approval to the acquisition on May 17, after TransCanada withdrew and refiled its pre-merger notification for the planned acquisition on May 4. The notification was first filed on April 4 with the FTC under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Anti-Trust Improvements Act (HSR Act).
“Pull and refile” is a common procedure used by applicants to provide the FTC additional time to investigate complex transactions. The refiling set a new 30-day waiting period for review. However, the FTC terminated the waiting period early. The companies also received notification on May 16 that the Committee of Foreign Investment of the United States completed its investigation and determined there are no unresolved national security concerns.Tags: Columbia Pipeline Group, mergers and acquisitions, TransCanada Corp