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Peoples Gas purchased by Essential Utilities

January 17, 2020 News Extra

Peoples Natural Gas Company has been purchased by Bryn Mawr-based Aqua America, which also announced it is changing its name to Essential Utilities Inc.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approved a joint application by Aqua America, Inc, and its subsidiaries, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. and Aqua Pennsylvania Wastewater, Inc. to acquire ownership of Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC — Equitable Division and Peoples Gas Company LLC.

Aqua America and its subsidiaries provide water and/or wastewater service to about three million customers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia — including services to more than 430,000 customers across 32 counties in Pennsylvania.

The Peoples companies provide natural gas services to about 680,000 Pennsylvania customers in all or portions of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clarion, Clearfield, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Peoples also has customers in West Virginia and Kentucky.

The all-cash transaction reflects Peoples enterprise value of $4.275 billion, which includes the assumption of about $1.3 billion of debt.

The new, multi-platform entity brings together the second-largest U.S. water utility and fifth-largest U.S. stand-alone natural gas local distribution company (based on customers), and will serve 1.74 million customer connections, which represent about five million people. In 2019, the new company will have about $10.8 billion in assets and a projected U.S. regulated rate base of more than $7.2 billion. The transaction is not expected to have any impact on rates.

This is an excerpt from a larger article that will appear in Sunday's Butler Eagle. Subscribe online or in print to read the full article.