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Nipsco Finalizes TPC Acquisition

Nipsco Finalizes TPC Acquisition

Nipsco Industries Inc. subsidiary Energy USA Inc. last week completed its acquisition of TPC Corp., including its 66% interest in Market Hub Partners LP. The deal was finalized April 1 and is valued at about $150 million.

Houston-based TPC is a major gas marketer, utility gas asset portfolio manager and a leading developer of salt cavern storage. MHP is the largest independent owner and operator of salt cavern gas storage in North America with facilities near Houston and in Acadia Parish, LA. The facilities have combined working storage of more than 20 Bcf with potential for additional cavern expansion. This year in Tioga County, PA, construction is scheduled to begin on a new 15 Bcf salt cavern facility that will initially provide 2.5 Bcf of storage by 2001.

"This acquisition enhances NI's strategy to link gas storage facilities to the growing Southwest, Midwest and Northeast natural gas market centers. Nipsco Industries continues to develop diverse natural gas supply and storage options for the growing gas marketplace," said James K. Abcouwer, NI senior vice president and president of Energy USA.

NI's other energy marketing and gas portfolio management operations will become part of TPC's operation.

The February announcement of the sale of TPC (see NGI Feb. 22, 1999) followed PacifiCorp's October announcement that it would refocus on its core electricity business in the western United States and sell its other U.S. businesses (see NGI Nov. 2, 1998). PacifiCorp acquired TPC (formerly Tejas Power) from its founders in April 1997 for $265 million cash and assumed debt of $140 million. In December 1997, PacifiCorp sold the gas gathering and processing assets of TPC to El Paso Field Services for $196.5 million. TPC working capital was about $42 million as of Dec. 31.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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