Enbridge, Spectra to close on merger next week

The Canadian pipeline company Enbridge said Wednesday that it close its acquisition of Houston-based Spectra Energy next week after clearing all regulatory hurdles.

Enbridge said it received approval of Canadian Competition Bureau and will complete the $28 billion merger Monday. The merger was earlier approved the Federal Trade Commission in the United States.

In the merged company, Enbridge Chief Executive Al Monaco will remain in the CEO role, while Spectra CEO will become chairman of the new Enbridge.

The merger is part of the consolidation in the pipeline sector as projects become tougher to build in the face of environmental protests and regulations. This summer, Enbridge’s chief rival, TransCanada, completed it’s $10.2 billion acquisition of Houston-based Columbia Pipeline Group, giving it a link to a new source of shale gas.

Spectra is attractive to Enbridge largely because of its web of gas pipelines, the Texas Eastern Transmission lines, that runs 9,000 miles from Texas to New York. An explosion along the pipeline system in Pennsylvania left one person severely burned in the spring.

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