Year-long SteelRiver deal closes

The $4bn infrastructure shop has closed its deal for Equitable Gas Company.

A sale of a natural gas distributor to SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners initiated in December 2012 has closed after obtaining across-the-board regulatory clearance, according to a SteelRiver press statement.

The 12-month-long deal was first announced last Christmas when publicly traded natural gas producer EQT Corporation—not to be confused with private equity firm EQT Partners—sold Equitable Gas Company to SteelRiver affiliate Peoples Natural Gas for a base price of $720 million.

Under the final $740 million transaction, Equitable will be folded into Peoples, creating the “largest gas utility” in the US state of Pennsylvania. Barry Kukovich, a spokesman for Peoples in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, confirmed 36 people from Equitable were let go as a result of the merger.

The acquisition will let SteelRiver lay claim to a contiguous service area comprised of Pennsylvania as well as Kentucky and West Virginia. Chris Kinney, senior managing partner with SteelRiver, credited the purchase of Peoples with “increased capital investment in the region”.

The transaction required approval from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the Hart-Scott Rodino Act, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the West Virginia Public Service Commission. Headquartered in San Francisco, SteelRiver is a $4 billion infrastructure investment company.