RICHMOND, Va. – Dominion Energy announced Friday that it has come to an agreement to sell its West Virginia natural gas utility, Hope Gas, Inc., which is also known as Dominion Energy West Virginia or DEWV, to Ullico Inc.’s infrastructure fund for $690 million. The transaction is expected to close late this year, according to a news release.
Ullico Inc.’s infrastructure business plans to integrate DEWV with Hearthstone Utilities, Inc., which is a portfolio company that owns and operates gas utilities in Indiana, Maine, Montana, North Carolina, and Ohio, the news release said. As part of the agreement, Hearthstone will move its headquarters to West Virginia, Dominion officials said.
Dominion Energy officials issued a statement on the sale:
“For nearly 125 years, Dominion Energy West Virginia has provided reliable and affordable natural gas, safely, to the people and businesses of the Mountain State. From its roots as the Flaggy Meadow Gas Co., DEWV has been a pioneer in the natural gas sector, taking part in the construction of one of America’s first interstate pipelines, which originated in Wetzel County, and building our country’s first extraction plant at Hastings. DEWV is a valuable business with tremendous employees. The business and its people will fit extremely well with Ullico and Hearthstone’s commitment to safety and their mission to serve American workers and customers. We are excited about the opportunity to continue to build on and invest in this important and valuable West Virginia company,” said Morgan O’Brien, Hearthstone’s president and chief executive officer. “Our vision is to grow the business and expand the footprint within the state, including to underserved communities. A key component is to establish West Virginia as our foundation for growth in creating new family-sustaining jobs, including bringing new jobs into the state in the first year.”Robert Blue, Dominion Energy chair, president, and chief executive officer
DEWV is based in Clarksburg, has about 300 employees and serves 111,000 West Virginia customers, through 3,200 miles of gas distribution pipelines and more than 2,000 miles of gathering pipelines.
The transaction is structured to have no impact on rates for customers, Dominion officials said. Hearthstone Utilities will assume the current collective bargaining agreement in place for UGWU Local 69 workers and honor those terms, officials also said.
The sale is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and approval from the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, the news release read.
In 2020, Dominion sold its gas transmission business to Berkshire Hathaway.