Gas Natural Inc. (NYSE MKT:EGAS) (“Gas Natural” or the “Company”), a holding company operating local natural gas utilities serving approximately 68,000 customers in four states, today announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement with an energy infrastructure investment fund sponsored by First Reserve, a leading global private equity and infrastructure investment firm focused exclusively on energy.
Under the terms of the agreement, First Reserve has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Gas Natural common stock for $13.10 per share, for a total enterprise value of approximately $196 million. The purchase price represents an approximate premium of 39% over Gas Natural’s 52-week high.
Gregory J. Osborne, Gas Natural’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “This agreement validates the strength of our franchise, provides great opportunity for our employees, ensures continuity of management and processes for our regulators, and rewards our shareholders for their commitment. Equally as important, there will not be any change to our organization or operations. In partnering with First Reserve, a long-term investor excited about the opportunity for continued investment, we maintain our strong dedication to providing safe, clean, reliable and affordable energy to our customers and to expanding the number of customers that have access to our responsive, quality service.”
Mark Florian, Head of Infrastructure Funds for First Reserve, added, “First Reserve has decades of experience managing energy and utility investments and is excited about the potential of the natural gas distribution sector. We view Gas Natural as an ideal platform for long-term investment in the space given its diversified asset base, strong management team and commitment to its customers. We look forward to continuing to provide capital support to the Company and are excited to add Gas Natural to our portfolio on behalf of our investors.”