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Industry News

National Grid Buys Niagara Mohawk for $8.9 Billion

LCG, Sept. 5, 2000National Grid Group Plc of the United Kingdom said this morning that it would pay $3 billion cash for Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., New York State's second largest utility. Assumption of $5.9 billion in debt brings the value of the proposed transaction to $8.9 billion.

The deal places a $19 per share value on Niagara Mohawk stock, which closed Friday on the new York Stock Exchange at $13.87. Niagara Mohawk shareholders will be paid in a combination of shares and cash.

The acquisition of Niagara Mohawk will be the third for National Grid in the U.S. The British transmission company completed in March the purchase of New England Electric System and in April that of Eastern Utilities Associates. Those companies now operate as National Grid USA.

David Jones, National Grid's chief executive, said "With Niagara Mohawk, we double the size of our U.S. business, reinforcing our position as a leading player in the Northeast region and becoming a top tier utility in the U.S. as a whole."

William E. Davis, chairman and chief executive of Niagara Mohawk, who will become chairman ofNational Grid USA and will join the National Grid board of directors as an executive director for two years after the completion of the acquisition, said "We are delighted to be joining forces with National Grid to become an important part of one of the largest and most efficient energy delivery companies in the world. This transaction is in the best interests of our shareholders, and will yield significant benefits for our customers, employees and the communities we serve."

Rick Sergel, the National Grid USA chief executive acquired in the NEES deal, said "We aim to work with New York regulators to structure long-term rate plans that benefit customers and shareholders and include incentives for cost control and superior customer service. We intend to provide long-term rate stability that will support regional economic development in upstate New York."

Niagara Mohawk will continue to operate under its current name and will keep its operatingheadquarters in Syracuse. Upon completion of the transaction, Niagara Mohawk will become awholly-owned subsidiary of National Grid.

The transaction is expected to be completed by late 2001, subject to a number of conditions,including regulatory and other governmental consents and approvals, the sale of Niagara Mohawk'snuclear facilities or other satisfactory arrangements being reached, and the approval of NiagaraMohawk and National Grid shareholders.

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