Gas Natural Completes Acquisition of Pipeline Assets in Maine For $4.5M
Gas Natural (NYSE: EGAS), a holding company operating natural gas utilities serving approximately 70,000 customers in seven states, through its subsidiary Penobscot Natural Gas Company, Inc., closed on its previously announced acquisition of a leasehold interest in a 189-mile pipeline corridor easement running from Searsport to Limestone, Maine ("Loring Pipeline") and various parcels of land. The purchase closed on September 25, 2012 for a total consideration of $4.5 million which was comprised of $2.25 million in cash and 210,951 shares of the Company's common stock valued at a price of $10.67.
Richard M. Osborne, Gas Natural's chairman and chief executive officer, commented, "Maine has long been identified as a strategic growth market due to the low penetration of natural gas as an energy source for power generation, industry and residential use. The predominate energy source in Maine is higher cost oil-based fuels. This acquisition represents a significant investment and expansion of our systems in Maine, and complements our existing service area, as the pipeline stretches from the eastern coast into northern Maine, crossing through our natural gas service area in Bangor."
Mr. Osborne added, "We have successfully converted a former liquid pipeline to natural gas uses in Ohio and given that experience, we expect we can be equally successful in the recondition and conversion of the Maine assets. The conversion of this pipeline will be done in phases, and we believe will position us well to capture additional opportunities, specifically the industrial base in northern Maine as well as accompanying residential and commercial areas where natural gas is currently not available."
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