JUNO BEACH, FL - FPL Group Inc., parent of Florida Power and Light Co., has agreed to acquire Entergy Corp., New Orleans, LA, for about $7 billion in stock. The combination reportedly will create the largest electric utility in the country.

The new holding company will have 6.3 million customers and 48,000 megawatts of generating capacity. FPL provides electricity to approximately 3.8 million customers throughout most of the east and lower west coasts of Florida. Entergy supplies electric service to about 2.5 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

The merged firm would be 57% owned by FPL shareholders and 43% owned by Entergy shareholders.

James L. Broadhead, chairman of FPL, will be chairman of the new company, and Wayne Leonard, ceo of Entergy, will be ceo.

The combination is expected to produce “average annual earnings per share growth of 10 percent or more over the next several years,” said Broadhead.

The merger must be approved by federal regulators as well as shareholders.