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Mirant Exploring Possible Sale; Shares Climb

Mirant said Monday it was considering a possible sale and other moves to boost the power provider's value for shareholders. Its shares rose nearly 6% in morning trading.

The Atlanta-based energy company is currently selling its business in the Philippines, six U.S. natural gas-fired plants and its Caribbean operations. The transactions are expected to close by the year's end.

Mirant said it is also considering returning excess cash from sale proceeds to stockholders, or signing a deal with another company, including a possible merger. The company doesn't expect to consider making an acquisition.

"We are commencing this exploration of alternatives in order to provide our stockholders with the greatest possible value," said Edward R. Muller, Mirant's chairman and chief executive officer.

J.P. Morgan is serving as Mirant's financial adviser.

Last month, the international energy company said it earned $1.86 billion, or $6.28 per share, in 2006 on revenue of $3.1 billion.