The notification was first filed on April 4 with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Anti-Trust Improvements Act (HSR Act).
The refiling will set a new 30-day period for review by the FTC. “Pull and refile” is a common procedure used by applicants to provide additional time to the FTC to confirm information about a complex transaction.
TransCanada is cooperating with the FTC review and remains confident that it will receive clearance to allow the merger transaction to close in the second half of 2016, subject to completion of other conditions to closing, including the approval of Columbia’s stockholders scheduled for June 22 and authorization of the transaction by the Committee of Foreign Investment of the United States.
In March, TransCanada announced an agreement to acquire Columbia for $13 billion (USD) including approximately $2.8 billion of assumed debt. The acquisition represents an opportunity for TransCanada to invest in an extensive growing network of regulated natural gas pipeline and storage assets in the prolific Marcellus and Utica shale gas regions.
The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2016, pending shareholder and regulatory approval. Upon closing, Columbia will become an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of TransCanada and will cease to be a publicly held corporation.
At the time the deal was announced. TransCanada president and CEO Russ Girling called the transaction “truly transformational” for the company.
Columbia owns one of the largest interstate natural gas pipeline systems in the United States, providing transportation, storage and related services to a variety of customers in the U.S. Northeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions. Its assets include Columbia Gas Transmission, which operates approximately 11,300 miles of pipelines and 286 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of storage capacity in the Marcellus and Utica shale production areas, and Columbia Gulf Transmission, an approximate 3,300-mile pipeline system that extends from Appalachia to the Gulf Coast.
Columbia is currently advancing $5.6 billion of commercially secured projects that are subject to normal course regulatory and permitting processes. They are underpinned by long-term contracts and expected to generate growth in earnings as they enter service. Under agreements with customers, additional growth is also anticipated from approximately $1.7 billion of modernization initiatives to be implemented through 2021.