ST. LOUIS and DALLAS, Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Laclede Group, Inc. (NYSE: LG) ("Laclede Group") and Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (NYSE: ETE) and Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE: ETP) today announced the early termination on January 22 of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 ("HSR") in connection with the previously announced transaction. The transactions include purchase and sale agreements under which two wholly owned subsidiaries of Laclede Group will acquire the assets of Missouri Gas Energy and New England Gas Company (collectively, the "LDCs") from Southern Union Company, a jointly owned affiliate of ETE and ETP. The early termination of the HSR review period satisfies a significant regulatory condition to the consummation of the acquisitions. The acquisitions of the LDCs are expected to be closed before the end of the third quarter of calendar 2013, subject to the receipt of certain other regulatory approvals. The Laclede Group, Inc. (NYSE: LG), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a public utility holding company. Its subsidiary, Laclede Gas Company, the regulated operations of which are included in the Regulated Gas Distribution segment, serves approximately 630,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in St. Louis City and parts of 10 counties in eastern Missouri. The Laclede Group's primary non-utility business, Laclede Energy Resources, Inc., included in the Non-Regulated Gas Marketing segment, provides non-regulated natural gas services. The Laclede Group, Inc. is committed to pursuing growth through 1) developing and investing in emerging technologies; 2) investing in infrastructure; 3) acquiring businesses to which the Company can apply its operating model, and 4) leveraging its current business unit competencies. For more information about The Laclede Group and its subsidiaries, visit www.TheLacledeGroup.com.