APUC acquires Midwest natural gas distribution utility assets for $124MM

Source: Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (APUC) (TSX:AQN) announced that Liberty Energy Utilities Co. (Liberty Energy), APUC's regulated electricity and natural gas distribution utility subsidiary, has entered into an agreement with Atmos Energy Corporation (Atmos Energy) (NYSE:ATO) to acquire their regulated natural gas distribution utility assets (the Utilities) located in Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois. Total purchase price for the Utilities is approximately US $124 million, subject to certain working capital and other closing adjustments. Liberty Energy expects to acquire assets for rate making purposes of approximately $112 million, representing a purchase price multiple of 1.106x. 

The Utilities currently provide natural gas local distribution service to approximately 84,000 customers (57,000 in Missouri, 23,000 in Illinois, and 4,000 in Iowa). The Utilities have capable and experienced work forces and Liberty Energy intends to make offers of continuing employment to all current employees of the Utilities. 

Closing of the transaction is subject to certain conditions including state and federal regulatory approval, and is expected to occur in 2012. Financing of the acquisitions is expected to occur simultaneously with the closing of the transaction. Liberty Energy will not be assuming any existing indebtedness with this transaction. 

"The acquisition of these well maintained, high quality utility assets is consistent with our growth strategy and provides Liberty Energy a great opportunity to accretively expand its regulated utility operations in Missouri and Illinois, both States with which we are familiar through our existing utility businesses." commented Ian Robertson, Chief Executive Officer of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. "We are confident in our ability to continue Atmos Energy's history of providing reliable, safe and cost effective customer service in these territories." he continued.

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