With the acquisition of Columbia Gas, the electric utility company will serve 626,000 natural gas customers in Massachusetts across over 60 communities


Eversource to acquire Columbia Gas of Massachusetts assets from NiSource. (Credit: Pixabay/Gerd Altmann)

US-based electric utility company, Eversource Energy has agreed to acquire the Massachusetts natural gas assets of Columbia Gas from NiSource for $1.1bn.

Under the terms of the deal, Eversource will acquire all of the assets of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts as well as all of the assets held by any of its affiliates that mainly related to the business of storing, distributing or transporting natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers in Massachusetts.

Currently, Columbia Gas currently serves 330,000 natural gas customers in over 60 communities in Massachusetts.

With the acquisition of Columbia Gas, Eversource will serve 626,000 natural gas customers in Massachusetts across over 60 communities

Eversource currently serves four million customers

Eversource currently serves 4 million electricity, natural gas and water customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

As per the terms of the agreement, NiSource will be responsible for the liabilities related to the September 2018 gas distribution incidents in the Merrimack Valley.

Subject to approval from the US Justice Department under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, the transaction is expected to be closed by the end of the third quarter of this year.

The acquisition is expected to enable the customers of Columbia Gas to participate in demand response and other clean energy initiatives, which will be undertaken by Eversource.

Eversource is planning to fund the transaction with a balance of new equity and debt that maintains its strong credit profile.

For the deal, Goldman Sachs & Co is acting as the exclusive financial advisor and Ropes & Gray is serving as legal advisor to Eversource Energy.

In February last year, the electric utility firm had signed an agreement with Danish energy company Ørsted to acquire a 50% stake in 830MW offshore wind assets in the US.