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  1. Business

Emera completes acquisition of TECO Energy, which will still be called TECO Energy

TAMPA — Emera Inc. of Nova Scotia on Friday completed the acquisition of TECO Energy, the Tampa-based parent of the utility that has been providing electricity to the city and Hillsborough County for more than a century.

The change won't be particularly conspicuous; Emera said it is keeping the names of all the subsidiaries, all employees and headquarters buildings.

The companies announced the $10.4 billion deal in September, with TECO stockholders receiving $27.55 per share, a 48 percent premium from when rumors of a potential sale first surfaced a year ago. Emera paid $6.5 billion for all outstanding shares of TECO stock and assumed $3.9 billion in debt.

TECO shares have been suspended and are no longer listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

"Today is an exciting day for TECO as we join the Emera family. We have doubled our size and our strength," said TECO spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs. "For customers, this change will be seamless. We are still your hometown utility with the same name and the same headquarters and the same great team is here to support your needs."

Emera announced last week that the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission voted unanimously to authorize the acquisition. New Mexico Gas Co. of Albuquerque is a TECO subsidiary, along with Tampa Electric Co. and Peoples Gas in Tampa. The New Mexico action was the final required regulatory approval.

In an announcement, Emera called TECO "a perfect fit" for the Canadian utility's strategy due to its business and generation mix. It expands Emera into markets where there are significant growth opportunities and is expected to increase the portion of earnings from rate-regulated businesses to almost 85 percent of adjusted net income, the company said.

"The acquisition of TECO Energy advances a number of important strategic objectives for Emera," said Chris Huskilson, president and CEO of Emera Inc. "We expect it to be significantly accretive, increase our regulated earnings into the high end of our target range, provide additional diversification and growth opportunities, and expand Emera into the local gas distribution business."

The deal makes Emera a top 20 North American regulated utility.

"Today, we welcome 3,700 new colleagues from across TECO into the Emera family," Huskilson said. "We are stronger together."

About 2,500 of those employees are in Tampa. The combined company will have 7,400 employees.

TECO said last week that John Ramil, president and chief executive officer and a 40-year veteran of the utility, would retire on Aug. 31. Ramil will become a member of the Emera board.

Emera grew out of a core utility business, Halifax-based Nova Scotia Power. It has operations in Canada, Maine, the Caribbean, and now, Florida and New Mexico.

Contact Jerome R. Stockfisch at (813) 226-3390.

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