UPDATE 1-NRG to buy Edison Mission Energy assets for $2.64 billion
LOS ANGELES, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Power company NRG Energy Inc on Friday said it would pay $2.635 billion to acquire the assets of bankrupt unregulated power producer Edison Mission Energy, adding nearly 8,000 megawatts of coal, gas and wind generation to its business.
NRG's stock was up more than 6 percent following the announcement. It hit a high of $30.17, its highest since 2008.
The purchase price includes 12.7 million shares of NRG common stock, valued at $350 million, with the rest to be paid in cash. Princeton, New Jersey-based NRG will also assume $1.545 billion of EME's non-resource debt.
EME's assets include four coal-fired plants in Illinois, about 10 gas-fired plants in California and more than 30 wind projects in 11 states. It also has a trading and asset management platform.
The deal will nearly quadruple NRG's wind generation capacity, the company said, making it the nation's third largest U.S.-based producer of renewable energy.
"Edison Mission Energy is a great fit with NRG, as virtually 100 percent of their assets, their particular expertises and the balance of their technologies deployed complement NRG`s own assets, personnel and businesses," NRG Chief Executive David Crane said in a statement.
NRG expects to close the deal, which is subject to approval by the U.S Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, in the first quarter of 2014.
EME, a unit of Edison International based in Santa Ana, California, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December, citing a "perfect storm" of heavy debts, weak power prices and high fuel costs.