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Xcel Extends Offer to Buy Shares

May 8, 2002

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Xcel Energy Inc. has extended until May 17 its offer to buy back the public shares of NRG Energy, its independent power producer subsidiary.

Xcel said Tuesday that it extended the offer because the Securities and Exchange Commission had not yet authorized the completion of the deal. The utility company also said it was optimistic about getting SEC approval before May 17.

Except for the date, the other terms and conditions of the offer remain unchanged. NRG’s public shareholders would receive half a share of Xcel common stock in a tax-free exchange for each outstanding share of NRG common stock they hold.

The NRG board has recommended that stockholders accept the offer.

Xcel now owns 74 percent of NRG.

Xcel spun off about one-fourth of its stake in NRG in 2000 and 2001. But the economic slowdown and changes in perceptions about independent power producers and power market capacity hurt NRG’s financial performance and its ability to raise money.

NRG, now the third-largest independent power producer worldwide, generates nearly 20,000 megawatts of power.

Xcel, the nation’s fourth-largest combination natural gas and electricity company, serves 3.2 million electricity customers and 1.7 million natural gas customers in 12 western and midwestern states.

In midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Xcel shares fell 37 cents to $25.47 while NRG shares were down 22 cents to $12.61.

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