January 21, 2007 / 6:56 AM / 12 years ago

Spectra Energy completes spinoff from Duke Energy

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Natural gas outfit Spectra Energy Corp. (SE.N) SE_w.N said on Tuesday it has completed its spinoff from power company Duke Energy Corp. (DUK.N).

Martha Wyrsch, chief executive of Spectra’s transmission unit, told Reuters that that as a stand-alone, publicly traded company, Spectra will have greater focus and a “direct line of sight” on its stock movement.

Wyrsch said Spectra will look at possible acquisitions, particularly in transmission and storage space in North America. Spectra would also be interested in expanding its presence in the Northeastern and Southeastern United States, British Columbia and the Rockies, Wyrsch added.

Spectra will start with a debt to total capitalization ratio of about 55 percent. Over the next three years, the company will consider debt to finance growth and expansion, Wyrsch said.

Spectra previously announced it expected a cash shortfall of $800 million in 2007.

Wyrsch said Spectra plans to raise $300 million to $500 million from a pipeline master limited partnership and expects to close the transaction around mid-year.

Going forward, Wyrsch said the company will utilize the master limited partnership as a financing tool and may place other company assets into the partnership if needed.

Spectra shares will begin trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Based in Houston, Spectra operates about 17,500 miles of transmission pipelines and 250 billion cubic feet of storage in the United States and Canada.

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