Dominion Energy Sells Gas Assets To Warren Buffett's Berkshire, Kills Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) is buying Dominion Energy Inc.'s D natural gas assets, the two companies announced Sunday.

Berkshire Acquisition

Berkshire's energy division will pay $4 billion in cash to Dominion for the purchase.

The transaction between the two companies also assumes an existing debt of about $5.7 billion for Dominion's Gas Transmission and Storage Business, giving the deal an enterprise value of $9.7 billion.

The assets that Berkshire is purchasing include over 7,700 miles of natural gas transmission lines, with about 20.8 billion cubic feet per day of transportation capacity. It also includes about 900 billion cubic feet worth of gas storage.

The Nebraska-based conglomerate holding company increased its cash holdings to a record $137.3 billion during the first quarter this year, as the company held back from new acquisitions during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter this year, subject to regulatory approval, the statement read.

Dominion Kills Atlantic Coast Pipeline Project

In a separate statement on Sunday, Dominion, along with partner Duke Energy Corp. DUK, said they were canceling the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project due to "ongoing delays and increasing cost uncertainty which threaten the economic viability of the project."

The pipeline has been abandoned even after the favorable United States Supreme Court decision last month. The project has faced major protests from landowners in the pipeline's path and environmental activists.

"This announcement reflects the increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States," Dominion Chief Executive Officer Thomas Farrell said in a statement.

"Until these issues are resolved, the ability to satisfy the country's energy needs will be significantly challenged."

The pipeline that was to run from West Virginia to eastern North Carolina through Virginia was last estimated to cost $8 billion.

Price Action

Dominion shares closed nearly 0.5% higher at $82.69 on Thursday. Berkshire Class A shares closed 0.2% higher at $267,551, and Class B shares closed nearly 0.5% higher at $178.83 the same day.

Duke Energy closed 0.1% lower at $81.84 per share.

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