Entergy Corporation is to spin off and merge its electricity transmission business with ITC Holdings Corporation in a $1.78bn deal designed to allow the US energy company to focus on its power-generation and utility operations, reports Reuters.

This represents Entergy’s second attempt in recent years to restructure its business, following a failed effort to spin off some of its nuclear power plants into a stand-alone company.

Entergy operates power utilities in the US states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas, as well as a merchant power plant business that sells electricity into the wholesale market.

ITC, the nation’s largest independent electricity transmission company, will double its size through the deal, expanding its current base that covers Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.

Entergy is currently seeking to integrate its transmission operations into the Midwest Independent System Operator, the regional transmission network that ITC’s operations are in.

Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to close in 2013, Entergy will divest its transmission business, creating a newly formed company, Mid South TransCo LLC. TransCo will then merge with a newly created unit of ITC in an all-stock transaction.

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