Retail Energy Marketer Extends Service to Customers in Illinois; Piedmont maintains its 15% ownership level in the joint venture with additional $22.5 million investment
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 6, 2013 - Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) today announced an additional $22.5 million cash contribution to its existing investment in SouthStar Energy Services, a joint venture with AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS). The additional investment, effective September 1, maintains Piedmont's 15 percent ownership level in SouthStar, which markets and sells unregulated retail natural gas to customers in the southeastern United States, as well as Ohio, New York and Maryland.
Simultaneous with the cash contribution by Piedmont, AGL Resources will contribute to SouthStar the unregulated retail natural gas customer accounts and related assets it acquired from Nicor Inc. in December 2011, and the unregulated retail natural gas customer accounts it acquired in a separate transaction in June 2013, both in Illinois. The addition of this Illinois book of business to SouthStar's market footprint will expand the retail energy marketer's customer base by approximately 108,000 customers.
Thomas E. Skains, Piedmont Natural Gas' Chairman, President, and CEO, commented on the Company's additional investment, "We believe the expansion of SouthStar's customer base into the Illinois markets is a logical extension of the venture's retail natural gas marketing business. We expect our investment to be accretive to shareholders by $.02 - .03 per share in fiscal year 2014."
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's current expectations and information currently available and are believed to be reasonable and are made in good faith. However, the forward-looking statements are subject to future events, risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the statements. Factors that may make the actual results differ from anticipated results include, but are not limited to, weather conditions, rate of customer growth, the cost and availability of natural gas, competition from other energy providers, new legislation and regulations and application of existing laws and regulations, economic and capital market conditions and other uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and some of which are beyond our control. For these reasons, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements when making investment decisions. The words "expect," "believe," "project," "anticipate," "intend," "should," "could," "assume," "can," "estimate," "forecast," "future," "indicate," "outlook," "plan," "predict," "seek," "target," "would," "guidance," and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are only as of the date they are made and we do not undertake any obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement, either as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. More information about the risks and uncertainties relating to these forward-looking statements may be found in Piedmont's latest Forms 10-K and 10-Q, which are available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov
About Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas is an energy services company primarily engaged in the distribution of natural gas to more than 1 million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation utility customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, including customers served by municipalities who are wholesale customers. Our subsidiaries are invested in joint venture, energy-related businesses, including unregulated retail natural gas marketing, and regulated interstate natural gas transportation and storage and intrastate natural gas transportation businesses. More information about Piedmont Natural Gas is available on the Internet at www.piedmontng.com.