By Philadelphia Business Journal

AmeriGas Partners LP has agreed to acquire the propane operations of Energy Transfer Partners LP for $2.9 billion in a deal that will nearly double the number of propane customers it has nationwide.

The general partner of the Valley Forge, Pa.-based propane distributor said in a press release Monday that the payment will consist of $1.5 billion in cash, $1.3 billion in common AmeriGas Partnersâ¿¿ units and the assumption of $71 million in debt.

AmeriGas Partners serves about 1.3 million retail propane customers in all 50 states from nearly 1,200 locations. The businesses it has agreed to acquire serve more than 1 million customers in 41 states.

UGI Corp. (NYSE:UGI), which also is based in Valley Forge, owns 44 percent of AmeriGas, as well as electric-and-gas utility operations.

Energy Transfer (NYSE:ETP) is based in Dallas. Its press release on the agreement is here.

The partnershipsâ¿¿ unitholders donâ¿¿t have to approve the deal, but antitrust regulators do. The partnerships expect the deal to close late this year or early next year.

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