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National Grid is acquisitive

National Grid, the London-based business interested in

acquiring KeySpan Corp., is an international company primarily involved in

delivering electricity and gas.

A product of 1990s deregulation and restructuring in Great Britain,

National Grid has aggressively pursued U.S. utilities, industry experts said.

Its large U.S. subsidiary was formed in 2000 when the company completed its

acquisition of New England Electric System.

In 2002, National Grid bought its Syracuse-based subsidiary, Niagara Mohawk

Power Corp.

And just this month, the company announced an agreement to acquire the

Rhode Island natural gas business and assets of New England Gas Co. from

Southern Union Co.

"They are looking to expand, and they have significant resources," said

Matthew Cordero, director of the Center for Management Analysis and associate

dean for the College of Management at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island


In the United States, the company employs 8,500 people and has five

electricity distribution companies that bring electricity to 3.3 million

customers in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

In addition, the company delivers natural gas to 565,000 customers in

central and eastern New York.

Internationally, National Grid owns the high-voltage electricity

transmission system in England and Wales. It also owns and operates a

high-pressure gas transmission system in Britain, delivering gas to about 11

million customers there.

The company's 2005 revenue totaled $15.9 billion worldwide and $7.1 billion

in the United States.

National Grid is involved in developing wireless network infrastructures

for broadcast and mobile phones, metering and interconnectors.

One project to connect the electricity network on the island state of

Tasmania to the state of Victoria in Australia is scheduled to be finished this


Ashok Gupta, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Air and

Energy Program, described National Grid as a well-run company with good senior

management, like Consolidated Edison Inc., which is also rumored to be

interested in KeySpan.

"I think the big difference is that ... [National Grid] is an

international, multistate company that has been growing through mergers," he

said. "And Con Ed, if anything, it has shrunk rather than grown."

Con Ed, though, may have a slight advantage because it is rooted in New

York, he added.

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