Atmos Energy has signed an agreement to sell all of its natural gas distribution assets located in the US states of Missouri, Illinois and Iowa to Liberty Energy (Midstates) Corp, an affiliate of Algonquin Power & Utilities, for about $124m.

Liberty Energy’s asset acquisition includes the gas distribution service to about 84,000 residential and commercial customers in these three states.

Closing of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to occur in 2012.

Atmos said that the proceeds from this transaction will be redeployed to fund growth opportunities in other jurisdictions it serves.

Upon closing the transaction, the company will reduce the number of the US states in which it operates from 12 to nine.