AltaGas to buy WGL in C$8.4 billion deal in gas distribution push

Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:21pm EST
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(Reuters) - Canadian energy infrastructure company AltaGas Ltd (ALA.TO: Quote) said it would buy U.S.-based WGL Holdings Inc WGL.N in a deal valued at C$8.4 billion ($6.42 billion), the latest company pushing deeper into natural gas distribution.

AltaGas will offer WGL Holdings shareholders $88.25 per share held, a 12 percent premium to the stock's Wednesday close.

WGL Holdings's shares were trading at $81.60 in after-market trading.

WGL Holdings, the parent of natural-gas utility Washington Gas, provides natural gas services in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The company also has a retail energy-marketing business and operates natural-gas distribution facilities.

AltaGas's deal for WGL follows Dominion Resources Inc's (D.N: Quote) $4.4 billion buyout of Questar Corp STR.N last year.

Duke Energy Corp DUK.N, the largest U.S. power company by generation capacity, said in 2015 it would buy Piedmont Natural Gas Co PNY.N for $4.9 billion.

Energy firms are betting on natural gas distribution, given rising demand from homes and businesses, and to help offset shrinking profits at utility businesses due to waning power demand.

Calgary-based AltaGas, which operates in the United States and Canada, has three businesses - natural gas gathering and processing, power generation and utilities that deliver natural gas to homes and businesses.   Continued...