SteelRiver closes on $780m gas deal

The $1.9bn infrastructure fund now counts the Peoples Natural Gas Company of Pittsburgh as one of its portfolio assets.

SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners has closed its $780 million purchase of a gas utility in Pennsylvania, bringing to an end a transaction that’s been in the works for more than 18 months.

The $1.9 billion infrastructure fund now counts Pittsburgh-based Dominion Peoples Natural Gas Company as part of its portfolio. In connection with the financial close, SteelRiver renamed the firm Peoples Natural Gas Company, dropping the Dominion reference, and appointed a new chief executive officer, Morgan O’Brien.

O’Brien previously served as the chief executive officer of Macquarie Infrastructure Partners-owned portfolio company Duquense Light, a Pittsburgh-based electric utility.

Peoples Natural Gas serves approximately 360,000 customers in 16 counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania, according to a statement from SteelRiver.

Peoples Natural Gas seller, Richmond, Virginia-based energy company Dominion Resources, originally agreed for SteelRiver to acquire both its Pennsylvania and West Virginia-based gas distribution utilities for $910 million.

However, SteelRiver could only press ahead with the Pennsylvania deal – first approved in November 2009 – after West Virginia regulators failed to approve the sale of the utility in their state.