Both the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph are reporting that National Grid, the largest utility company in the United Kingdom is among the suitors for Empire:
National Grid, which brings in a stonking dividend yield of 4.8 per cent, rose 7.6p to 925.4p amid whispers that the UK’s largest listed utility has a major acquisition in the pipeline.
Dealers heard that the London-based multi-utility is one of three groups interested in acquiring Empire District Electric Company, an investor-owned utility providing electric, natural gas and water services with 215,000 customers in the US. It hoisted the ‘For Sale’ sign three months ago and word has it that an agreed deal is now close.
Empire’s shares trade around $27 and speculation suggests the take-out price could be in the region of $35 a share.
The news that Empire District Electric was for sale was first announced in December, when company officials said they were exploring "strategic alternatives."