DQE Ticker Heads for Sunset

Duquesne Light ( DQE) agreed to be acquired by a consortium led by a private equity fund of the acquisitive Australian finance company Macquarie Bank.

The price is $1.59 billion, or $20 a share. Duquesne, which for many years was known simply as "DQE," closed Monday at $16.44. In premarket trading Wednesday, the stock rose $3.11, or 19%, to $19.55.

The lead investors in the buyout are Macquarie Infrastructure Partners and Diversified Utility & Energy Trusts. To fund the acquisition, the consortium will put up $954 million of cash equity, sell a $141 million private placement of stock and borrow $638 million from banks.

The investors will keep Morgan O'Brien as CEO and honor the current collective bargaining agreement in place for Duquesne Light's represented employees, as well as existing wage and benefit packages for nonrepresented employees.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007.

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