Southern Company (No. 44 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) and Southern Company Gas today announced that Pivotal Utility Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Southern Company Gas, has entered into agreements to sell the assets of its utility operating divisions Elizabethtown Gas and Elkton Gas to South Jersey Industries in an all-cash transaction with an enterprise value of approximately $1.7 billion. Southern Company Gas is a subsidiary of Southern Company.
"This transaction, which we anticipate completing by third quarter 2018, will strengthen the balance sheets of Southern Company Gas and Southern Company by reducing existing financing requirements," said Thomas A. Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company. "In addition to maximizing value for Southern Company shareholders, the transaction is beneficial to our company and aligns with our overall business strategy to drive growth and prosperity."
The transaction, which is expected to be operationally seamless to customers, is designed to ensure that Elizabethtown Gas and Elkton Gas will continue their customer-focused business model and strong commitment to safety, reliability, excellent customer service and giving back to the communities where they are privileged to serve.
South Jersey Industries is committed to providing the same level of service and reliability Elizabethtown Gas and Elkton Gas customers are accustomed to receiving today and will continue to provide service at New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) and Maryland Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved tariff rates. South Jersey Industries also will maintain commitments to Elizabethtown Gas and Elkton Gas employees, including honoring all collective bargaining agreements in place at the time of close and pension benefits.
The transaction will involve, among other things, approval by the NJBPU and MPSC (with respect to the Elkton Gas sale), the expiration or termination of any applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and certain limited approvals by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.
South Jersey Industries is an energy services holding company comprised of a natural gas utility, South Jersey Gas, which serves approximately 381,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the seven southernmost counties of New Jersey. South Jersey Industries also operates several non-regulated businesses that promote efficiency, clean technology and renewable energy by providing customized wholesale marketing and field management services; acquiring and marketing natural gas and electricity for retail customers; developing, owning and operating on-site energy production facilities; and offering HVAC and other energy-efficiency related services.