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Atmos Energy Corporation (NYSE: ATO) today announced that it has executed a definitive agreement to sell substantially all of its natural gas distribution assets located in Georgia to Liberty Energy (Georgia) Corp., an affiliate of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. The transaction will include the transfer of approximately 64,000 meters at an all cash price of approximately $141 million, with the agreement containing usual terms and conditions customary for transactions of this type, including typical adjustments to the purchase price, if applicable.
“We have worked with Algonquin over the last year to transition our Missouri, Illinois and Iowa operations and are pleased to be able to consummate another asset sale with such a fine company. We know that Algonquin shares our focus on safety, reliability and providing excellent customer service to our Georgia customers,” said Kim R. Cocklin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atmos Energy Corporation.
The sale is expected to close during fiscal 2013, after the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. These predominantly residential and commercial meters represent less than two percent of Atmos Energy’s three million natural gas customers. The proceeds from this transaction will be redeployed to fund growth opportunities in the remaining jurisdictions the company serves. Upon closing this transaction, Atmos Energy will reduce the number of states in which it operates from nine to eight, with approximately 80 percent of its utility operations in the three states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
The matters discussed in this news release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this news release are forward-looking statements made in good faith by the company and are intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this news release or in any of the company’s other documents or oral presentations, the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “goal,” “intend,” “objective,” “plan,” “projection,” “seek,” “strategy” or similar words are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in this news release, including the risks and uncertainties relating to regulatory trends and decisions, the company’s ability to continue to access the capital markets and the other factors discussed in the company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These factors include the risks and uncertainties discussed in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011 and in the company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three and six months ended March 31, 2012. Although the company believes these forward-looking statements to be reasonable, there can be no assurance that they will approximate actual experience or that the expectations derived from them will be realized. The company undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.