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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Atmos Energy’s sale has yet to be heard by MPSC

  • A hearing has yet to be scheduled with the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) regarding the tentative sale of Atmos Energy Corporation’s natural gas distribution assets in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa to Liberty Energy (Midstates) Corporation.


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  • A hearing has yet to be scheduled with the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) regarding the tentative sale of Atmos Energy Corporation’s natural gas distribution assets in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa to Liberty Energy (Midstates) Corporation.
    A spokesman with the MPSC in Jefferson City said Monday afternoon no such request is on file with its natural gas division.
    “We’re working right now on a joint application with Liberty Energy and we expect that to be filed very soon,” said Mark Martin, vice president of rates and regulatory affairs for Atmos Energy. “We expect to receive regulatory approval from the Missouri Public Service Commission within nine to 12 months once the application has been filed.”
    The transaction must be approved by the public service commissions in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. It must also receive federal regulatory approval.
    “The regulatory approval is really where the rubber meets the road,” said Martin, adding no obstacles are anticipated.
    It was announced in mid-May that Atmos Energy had reached a sale agreement with Liberty Energy (Midstates) Corporation, an affiliate of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp., for an all cash price of approximately $124 million. The final sale total is subject to “closing adjustments.”
    According to Atmos Energy and Liberty Energy, the transaction is expected to close in 2012, after the receipt of all necessary regulatory approval.
    “We’re going to make every effort to ensure a seamless transition once the sale is approved,” said Martin.
    In the service area being sold, Atmos Energy, which is reducing the number of states in which it operates from 12 to nine, provides local natural gas distribution to approximately 84,000 customers - 57,000 in Missouri, 23,000 in Illinois and 4,000 in Iowa. Eighty-eight percent of the customers represent residential accounts.
    At the time of the announcement, Libery Energy indicated it intended to “make offers of continuing employment to all current employees” in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. According to Liberty Energy, the total number of Atmos Energy employees in the three states is 106.
    “All existing employees will remain employees of Atmos Energy until the sale is complete and then once the sale is complete those respective employees will become part of Liberty Energy. Unfortunately we cannot predict the exact number or magnitude of future (employment) opportunities that may result from the sale,” said Martin.
    Through its operating subsidiaries Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. owns and operates $1.1 billion in electric generation and utility distribution businesses in North America, including Missouri.
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