Teco to buy New Mexico Gas in deal worth $750M

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Teco Energy Inc., the owner of Tampa Electric Co., said Tuesday that it reached an agreement to buy New Mexico Gas Co. in a deal worth about $750 million, boosting its customer base by 50 percent.

Teco said it expects the addition of New Mexico Gas to increase its profits in the first full year after closing.

Teco valued the agreement with Continental Energy Systems LLC at $950 million, including the assumption of $200 million in debt. The deal, which remains subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.

New Mexico Gas serves about 509,000, mainly residential, customers in New Mexico. When the deal closes, Teco's subsidiaries will serve more than 1.5 million regulated electric and gas utility customers in Florida and New Mexico, the company said.

Teco shares closed Friday at $18.29, up about 9 percent since the start of the year.