Washington Gas May Be Acquired by a Spanish Utility

WASHINGTON — Stock in Washington Gas parent company WGL Holdings soared in Tuesday trading on the New York Stock Exchange after a Bloomberg report that said the utility is in talks to be acquired by a Spanish utility company.

Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the talks, says WGL is in preliminary talks with Spain’s Iberdrola. No agreement has been reached and no deal is imminent, Bloomberg reports.

WGL has been working with financial advisers, and may decide to remain independent, Bloomberg’s sources said.

Mid-sized utilities have become attractive takeover targets for larger utility conglomerates looking to diversify their businesses.

Reports of the Washington Gas talks with Iberdrola come about eight months after Exelon completed its $6.8 billion acquisition of Pepco Holdings.

Washington Gas has about 1.1 million customers in the D.C. region. WGL Holdings also operates a natural gas storage business and a gas pipeline division.

WGL stock (NYSE: WGL) was up $7.60 to $76.62 per share in Tuesday mid-day trading.

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