Power companies are looking to expand in order to avoid being swallowed by the bigger fish.
Electric utilities are hot, and it's not the summer's searing temperature.
Long favored by risk-averse investors attracted by the security that comes with owning a piece of a monopoly, electric companies suddenly have become as merger-crazy as airlines, banks and entertainment companies, as prospects of competition at the plug turn into more than a vague concept.
In the past two months, Union Electric Co. of St. Louis said it would merge with Cipsco Inc., a Springfield, Ill.-based utility, in a friendly, $1.2 billion deal.
A few days later, Southwestern Public …