KeySpan Corp. said Wednesday it has closed its previously announced transaction to completely exit ownership interest in the Houston Exploration Co., which it founded in the 1980s (see Daily GPI, Nov. 22).

KeySpan, which announced last year that it would sell its stake in the oil and natural gas producer, sold its remaining 24% ownership interest, which consisted of 6.6 million shares of common stock, through Morgan Stanley at $56.25/share. The sale generated proceeds to KeySpan of $369 million; Houston Exploration received none of the proceeds.

“This transaction completes the final monetization of our ownership interest in Houston Exploration, consistent with our strategy to monetize our non-core assets and focus on growing our core businesses” said CEO Robert B. Catell.

KeySpan is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast with 2.5 million customers, operating regulated natural gas utilities in New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire under the KeySpan Energy Delivery service company.

Houston Exploration is an independent engaged in the development, exploitation, exploration and acquisition of natural gas and crude oil properties. The company’s operations are focused in South Texas, the Rocky Mountains, the Arkoma Basin, and offshore in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

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