Alaska regulators approve Enstar sale

The state has approved the $800 million sale of Alaska’s largest natural gas utility.

Enstar Natural Gas, with about 150,000 customers in Anchorage and the Cook Inlet region, is being sold by AltaGas to Alaska Utilities Holdings, a subsidiary of TriSummit Utilities.

The parent companies, both based in Canada, announced the deal in May, pending approval from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. The agency approved the deal on Dec. 21 in a 48-page order.

The sale is expected to close early this year, the companies said. All Enstar employees will move over to the new company, AltaGas said. Enstar employs about 200 full-time workers.

The proposal for the acquisition shows there is “sufficient organization, financial backing, technical facilities and equipment, operations expertise and managerial and administrative experience to support a finding of fitness, willingness, and ability to provide public utility service,” the state agency said in its order.

The deal will more than double TriSummit’s customer base. The natural gas distribution company has about 133,000 customers in Canada.

AltaGas said the sale will help it reduce debt and create financial flexibility for future growth in other areas.

Enstar reported net income of $24 million in 2021, with assets at $610 million and liabilities at $430 million, the agency’s order said.

The sale involves assets that include Enstar’s majority ownership of Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska, which protects against potential gas supply disruptions in Southcentral Alaska. The storage facility, like Enstar, is a standalone utility. It reported net income of $11 million last year.

12/28/2022 - 3:50pm