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Sunday, September 28, 2014

NiSource to separate into two publicly traded companies, (NYSE: NI)

NiSource Inc on Sunday announced its board had approved plans to split into two publicly traded companies, separating its utilities and pipeline businesses, with the new company taking the form of a master limited partnership (MLP). Under the plan, NiSource will list its natural gas pipeline division as an MLP named Columbia Pipeline Group, which is expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "COLP." NiSource will remain a natural gas and electric utilities business, and its listing will not change.A source briefed on the matter said Lazard was NiSource's financial advisor.MLPs pay no federal income tax, and the Columbia Pipeline Group's initial assets are seen consisting of a 14.6 percent interest in CPG OpCo LP, which will own almost all of NiSource's natural gas transmission and storage assets.Noting that NiSource management had stated a need for an equity infusion of $400 to $500 million to fund its growth, Jefferies analyst Christopher Sighinolfi on Sept. 22 wrote that the MLP model "represents its most attractive alternative financing solution." In that note, Jefferies raised its price target on the stock by $3 to $40.

NiSource Inc. (NiSource) is an energy holding company whose subsidiaries provide natural gas, electricity and other products and services to approximately 3. Shares of NI fell by 0.18% or $-0.07/share to $38.58. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $30.09 and as high as $40.66. On average, 1854290 shares of NI exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 2680980.