TransCanada in talks to buy Columbia Pipeline Group: sources

Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:43pm EST
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By Mike Stone

(Reuters) - TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO: Quote), the company behind the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline project, is in talks to buy U.S. natural gas pipeline operator Columbia Pipeline Group Inc CPGX.N, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The two companies have so far failed to agree on a price, and a deal remains uncertain, one of the sources said.

TransCanada said in a statement it was in discussions with a third party for a potential transaction, but no agreement had been reached.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported talks between the two companies on Thursday, said the deal could be valued at more than $10 billion.

Columbia Pipeline Group had a market value of about $8 billion as of Wednesday's close and long-term debt of $2.75 billion as of Dec. 31.

Details of the possible deal, including the role of Columbia Pipeline Partners LP CPPL.N, could not be learned, the Journal said, citing sources. Columbia Pipeline Group owns the general partner of Columbia Pipeline Partners LP.

Houston-based Columbia Pipeline Group declined to comment.

Shares of Columbia Pipeline Group were up 16.6 percent at $23.03 after being halted briefly.   Continued...

President and CEO Russ Girling of TransCanada addresses shareholders during the company's annual general meeting in Calgary, Alberta, May 1, 2015. REUTERS/Todd Korol