Southern Co., the parent company of Mississippi Power Co., is buying electric and natural gas company AGL Resources for about $8 billion, according to a release form the utility company.

The deal will result in AGL shareholders earning $66 in cash for each share of AGL Resources they buy. ALG Resources is an Atlanta-based company.

Including debt, the deal is valued at $12 billion and is expected to result in Southern Co. enhancing its earlier earnings growth. The deal was approved by the board of directors of each company.

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