For Release: 06/30/2006
Rosemount, MN – With the purchase of Aquila’s Minnesota natural gas distribution assets, WPS Resources Corporation (NYSE: WPS) has also renamed the company Minnesota Energy Resources. Minnesota employees actually helped choose the new name, which is one of only a few things that will change for customers of the natural gas company; most are staying the same, including the names and faces of the employees – all of whom were offered employment through the new parent company.
“It’s pretty much going to be business as usual, highlighted by our commitment to outstanding customer service,” said new Minnesota Energy Resources President Chuck Cloninger. “Of course there are new phone numbers for customers to call because the former owner handled customer service from its corporate offices. We’ll transition the customer service functions to another source. As with any new endeavor, we expect there will be some bumps in the road. We apologize in advance. We will work diligently to get things working well as soon as possible, and we look forward to many years of serving you in the future.”
Cloninger is the former vice president of distribution for Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, also a subsidiary of WPS Resources.
“We’re excited to join the WPS Resources family,” said Mary Boettcher, Minnesota Energy Resources Vice President - Operations. “The company just this year received separate national management awards of distinction from FORBES and FORTUNE magazines. It has ingrained a solid customer focus at all company locations so it will be easy for us to continue our focus on respect for customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.”
In April, WPS Resources completed the first part of its transaction with Aquila by closing on a purchase of Aquila’s Michigan natural gas assets, now known as Michigan Gas Utilities. Customers are being notified of the new owner and new service phone numbers through advertisements, a billing insert and letters to their homes.
About WPS Resources WPS Resources Corporation, based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is a holding company with both regulated and nonregulated energy-related subsidiaries. Its wholly owned regulated subsidiaries include Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, an electric and natural gas utility; Upper Peninsula Power Company, an electric utility; and Michigan Gas Utilities Corporation, a natural gas utility. Its wholly owned, nonregulated subsidiary is WPS Energy Services, Inc. For more information, visit the company’s Web site: www.wpsr.com.