NiSource link to shale boom enhances deal appeal, Bloomberg says

|About: NiSource Inc. (NI)|By:, SA News Editor

NiSource (NI +0.7%) is discussed by Bloomberg as a prime acquisition candidate for utility companies seeking to profit from the shale gas boom.

NI surged to all-time highs last week amid takeover speculation fueled by a December report that Dominion Resources (D +0.2%) was raising money for a purchase; an all-cash deal would give Dominion complementary gas assets and boost its earnings, even if it paid a 20% premium to NI’s Friday closing price of $33.89, according to Bernstein analysts.

NI’s Columbia Pipeline Group operates ~15.7K miles of lines that stretch from Louisiana to New York, as well as gas and electric utilities; analysts say NI's growing pipeline business has appeal, "both fundamentally and to those who could conceivably use financial engineering to extract even greater value."