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NiSource, Indianapolis Reach Deal

November 27, 2001

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) _ NiSource Inc. has reached an agreement with Indianapolis for the city to buy assets of the company’s subsidiary, the Indianapolis Water Company, for $515 million.

Gary L. Neale, NiSource’s chairman, president and chief executive, said the deal will let the company concentrate its efforts on core businesses.

``Once completed, this transaction will enable NiSource to better focus on our core natural gas and electric businesses and reduce debt following our merger last year with Columbia Energy Group,″ Neale said in a statement issued Monday.

NiSource, based in Merrillville, Ind., expects to close on the transaction in the first part of 2002, Neale said.

NiSource was required to sell its water assets as part of an order by regulators approving the NiSource-Columbia merger, which was completed Nov. 1, 2000.

Federal law requires utility holding companies to sell businesses not essential to their primary operations.


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