TransCanada Corp. said Thursday it plans to buy Houston-based Columbia Pipeline Group Inc. for $13 billion in an all-cash deal. Calgary-based TransCanada said it expects the acquisition to add to its bottom line in the first full year of ownership. Columbia shareholders will receive $25.50 a share, an 11% premium over the closing stock price. The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. "The acquisition represents a rare opportunity to invest in an extensive, competitively-positioned, growing network of regulated natural gas pipeline and storage assets in the Marcellus and Utica shale gas regions,"Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. The assets complement TransCanada's existing North American footprint, he said. Columbia's assets include natural-gas pipelines in the Marcellus and Utica shale-production areas. The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year. Shares of TransCanada were halted in late trading Thursday after ending the day up 2.6%. Shares of Columbia Pipeline rose 7.7% in late trading after finishing the regular trading day up 2.2%.
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