Southern Co. has agreed to buy AGL Resources for about $8 billion, a deal that will create the second-largest utility company in the U.S. by customer base. Under the terms of the deal, AGL Resources' shareholders will receive $66 in cash for each share held, a 38% premium to Friday's closing price. Shares of both companies were inactive premarket. Including debt, the deal is valued at $12 billion. Both companies' boards of directors have approved the deal. The combined company will have around 9 million customers and 11 regulated electric and natural gas distribution companies. "For some time we have expressed our desire to explore opportunities to participate in natural gas infrastructure development," said Southern Chief Executive Thomas A. Fanning in a news release. Southern expects the deal to add to its per-share earnings in the first full year after closing.
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