Gas Utility Enstar Sold To Canadian Company

April 2012, Vol. 239 No. 4

The Anchorage Daily News reported that Calgary-based AltaGas Ltd. will pay $1.1 billion to buy the parent company of Enstar Natural Gas Co., the lone distributor of natural gas to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in south-central Alaska.

“Basically, it’s operations as normal,” Enstar spokesman John Sims said. Enstar’s management team remains intact, including Colleen Starring as president, he said. The name Enstar also stays he said.

AltaGas said the purchase will help it grow into one of North America’s biggest energy companies. It already gathers, processes, transports and stores natural gas. It has wind and hydro projects. Natural gas utilities currently operated by AltaGas serve 119,000 customers in Alberta, Nova Scotia, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

“They bring a lot of experience to the table. Their record speaks for itself, not only from an experience side, but also from a safety side. We don’t expect any negative impact whatsoever,” Sims said.

AltaGas plans to buy Semco Energy Inc., which owns Enstar as well as a natural gas storage facility under construction in Cook Inlet, and a gas utility and storage facility in Michigan. The deal will dramatically increase the number of natural gas customers served by AltaGas. Enstar has 132,000 customers; Semco’s Michigan utility serves 286,000 customers.

“This acquisition establishes a significant foothold in the U.S. in areas with strong growth potential that are near existing AltaGas assets and operations,” AltaGas Chairman and CEO David Cornhill said in a written statement.

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