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Report: New Jersey Resources, South Jersey Industries in merger talks

New Jersey Resources Corp. and South Jersey Industries Inc. are in talks for a possible merger agreement, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing "people familiar with the matter."

No other details on the discussions were disclosed, and the deal may not materialize, the report said. If it goes through, the merger would combine two of the biggest natural gas utilities that operate in the state. New Jersey Resources' market capitalization as of the close of April 4 was $3.4 billion, and South Jersey Industries' was $2.9 billion.

New Jersey Resources operates a 6,700-mile gas distribution system, and its utility subsidiary, New Jersey Natural Gas Co., serves 486,000 customers in five counties, while South Jersey Industries serves about 377,000 customers in southern New Jersey.