AEP Retail Energy to acquire BlueStar Energy of Chicago

COLUMBUS  ― American Electric Power and its unregulated subsidiary AEP Retail Energy has reached an agreement to acquire BlueStar Energy Holdings Inc. and its independent retail electric supplier BlueStar Energy Solutions. The terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

BlueStar, based in Chicago, provides electric supply for retail customers in Ohio, Illinois and other deregulated electricity markets. BlueStar has been in operation since 2002 and has approximately 21,000 customer accounts.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of March, pending regulatory approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and anti-trust review by the Department of Justice under Hart-Scott-Rodino. BlueStar’s operations will continue to be based in Chicago and will remain focused on providing retail electric service for residential, commercial and industrial customers in deregulated states, as well as demand response and energy efficiency services nationwide.

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states.

Coal producer Peabody Energy profit up on higher pricing

ST. LOUIS — Peabody Energy Corp’s quarterly profit beat Wall Street estimates as the largest U.S. coal producer realized higher pricing in all regions and domestic volumes increased.

Third-quarter profit rose to $283.5 million, or $1.01 per share, from $237.6 million, or 83 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

Excluding items, it earned 87 cents per share. Analysts were expecting 85 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 9 percent to $2.04 billion, beating estimates of $2.02 billion.

Earlier in the day, ArcelorMittal unexpectedly pulled out of its joint $5 billion bid with Peabody for Australian miner Macarthur Coal , just a day after the buyers said they had secured a majority of shares.

“While we anticipated a positive joint venture with ArcelorMittal, we have always preferred a larger ownership. We partnered with ArcelorMittal to increase the likelihood of achieving control of Macarthur, which has now occurred,” Peabody CEO Gregory Boyce said in a statement on Tuesday.

St Louis-based Peabody’s shares closed at $40.94 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has lost about 36 percent of its value this year, in line with the decline in the Dow Jones coal index.