The Missouri Public Service Commission has given the go-ahead for St. Louis-based Laclede Gas to purchase Missouri Gas Energy.
Commission members placed a major condition on the purchase – Laclede Gas is barred from seeking a rate increase in its current service area until October of 2015. Laclede spokeswoman Jessica Willingham says, though, they would be allowed to seek an increase in the areas currently served by Missouri Gas once the purchase becomes official.
"Our next step at Laclede is to complete the financing and close the transaction," Willingham said. "According to the agreement, we're permitted to close on the transaction on or after September 1st, so we'll know a lot more at that time."
Laclede currently serves the St. Louis area and other parts of eastern Missouri, while Missouri Gas Energy serves the Kansas City area and other portions of western Missouri. The new, expanded company would operate as two divisions, Laclede and MGE, and would provide natural gas to more than a million customers in Missouri.
Laclede Gas announced last December that it would pay about $1 billion to buy Missouri Gas Energy and New England Gas Company.
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