PORTLAND, Ore., June 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NW Natural (NYSE:NWN) today announced that NW Natural Gas Storage has entered into an agreement to sell its wholly-owned subsidiary Gill Ranch Storage LLC to SENSA Holdings LLC (SENSA), an investment partnership led by eCorp Storage.
Gill Ranch Storage owns a 75% undivided interest in the Gill Ranch facility, located outside of Fresno, California, amounting to approximately 15 Bcf of underground natural gas storage capacity. The remaining interest in the facility is owned by Pacific Gas & Electric (NYSE:PCG).
The transaction follows a comprehensive review process that concluded Gill Ranch was no longer core to the company’s strategy. “This sale is consistent with our strategy of focusing on predictable, low‑risk cash flows for our investors through primarily regulated utility businesses,” said David H. Anderson, NW Natural president and CEO. “We look forward to working with SENSA and the eCorp team through the transition period.”
NW Natural Gas Storage will continue to provide management services to the Gill Ranch facility for up to 18 months after the transaction closes under a transition services agreement. All Gill Ranch facility personnel are expected to remain in their current capacity.
ECorp Storage and its affiliates have been involved in the development and operations of 13 natural gas storage facilities in the U.S. and globally since 1985. “We look forward to continuing NW Natural’s excellent track record of safety and reliability at the Gill Ranch facility,” said John Thrash, chairman and co-founder of eCorp.
The sale is subject to certain closing conditions, including approval by the California Public Utility Commission, a right of first refusal that can be exercised by PG&E until August 4, 2018, and other usual and customary closing conditions. The sale is expected to be final in 2019.
BofA Merrill Lynch served as exclusive financial advisor and Stoel Rives LLP served as legal advisor to NW Natural Gas Storage on the transaction. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP served as legal advisor to SENSA.
ABOUT NW NATURAL
NW Natural (NYSE:NWN) is headquartered in Portland, Ore. The 159-year-old regulated natural gas utility serves Oregon and southwest Washington with one of the most modern distribution and transmission pipeline systems in the nation. It is the largest stand-alone local gas distribution company in the Pacific Northwest with over 740,000 customers,14,000 miles of pipeline infrastructure, and $3 billion in total assets. NW Natural and its subsidiaries also own and operate 16 Bcf of underground gas storage capacity primarily for utility customers in Oregon. Additional information is available at nwnatural.com.
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