Regency Energy Partners LP ( NYSE: RGP) today announced it will acquire Southern Union Gathering Company, LLC, the owner of Southern Union Gas Services, Ltd. (SUGS), from Southern Union Company, a jointly owned affiliate of Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. ( NYSE:ETE) and Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE:ETP). The $1.5 billion acquisition will significantly expand Regency’s presence in one of the most productive oil and liquids-rich basins in North America, the Permian Basin. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013, subject to approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions. The transaction will include the purchase of a 5,600-mile gathering system and approximately 500 MMcf/d of processing and treating facilities in west Texas and New Mexico for natural gas and natural gas liquids. In addition, SUGS is currently finishing construction of the 200 MMcf/d Red Bluff processing plant with associated treating which is expected to be in service in the second quarter of 2013. An additional 200 MMcf/d cryogenic processing facility with associated treating is in the planning stages and is expected to be in service in mid-to-late 2014. “This acquisition represents a significant growth opportunity for Regency and is very strategic to our plans for expansion in the Permian Basin,” said Mike Bradley, president and chief executive officer of Regency Energy Partners. “The integration of the SUGS assets with our existing operations will position Regency with a broad Permian Basin gathering and processing footprint. The combined system is expected to provide significant synergies, increase efficiencies on our current system, improve the flexibility of our gathering and processing operations and enhance services for our customers.” “We also expect this acquisition will be neutral to slightly accretive in 2013 and to enhance our outlook for long-term distribution growth,” continued Bradley.