Kinder Morgan signed an agreement to purchase Citizens Communications’ natural gas division in Colorado for $11 million. The transaction, which must be approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, will add more than 13,000 primarily residential, commercial and agricultural customers to KMI’s retail natural gas division. KMI currently serves 225,000 customers in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming, about 55,000 of which are located in Colorado. “This is a natural extension of our Colorado operations, as we have extensive experience serving small and rural communities, said Dan Watson, president of KMI’s retail natural gas division. “We look forward to adding these new customers to our service portfolio.” The asset purchase consists primarily of regulated gas distribution systems. In Colorado, Citizens’ serves 10,600 customers in Bent, Crowley, and Otero Counties, plus another 2,800 customers in Archuleta, La Plata, and Mineral Counties.
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Dallas-based Atmos Energy Corp. has completed its purchase of Louisiana Gas Service Co. (LGS) and LGS Natural Gas Co. from Citizens Communications Co. for $365 million in cash, giving it a customer base of almost 279,000, which company officials said makes it the fifth largest pure gas utility in the United States and the largest in Louisiana. The deal was announced last year (see Daily GPI, April 14, 2000).
Columbia Transmission Communications (CTC), a wholly-ownedsubsidiary of Columbia Energy Group, unveiled plans to beginbuilding the initial leg of its telecommunications network Monday.The initial leg of the overall route will extend 260 miles from NewYork City to Washington D.C. using Columbia Gas Transmission’sright-of-way. It will be capable of providing voice, data and videosignal access to 16 million people. The company is developing plansto extend this network to 2,500 route miles with direct access to35 million people throughout the eastern United States, includinglines to Cleveland, Cincinnati and New Orleans. CTC said usingColumbia’s right-of-way will allow for a competitive, low-costfiber network. Columbia still needs to get landowner approval forthe lines, a company spokesman said, because the right-of-way wasapproved for pipeline use, not telecommunication wire.
Consumers are becoming more interested in buying energy,communications and other services in one-stop package deals, arecent national survey has found. However, customers expect any”bundled” products and services to be offered at a discount of atleast 5%, according to the survey. In fact, interest in specificpackages increases in direct proportion to the depth of thediscount. Overall, customers assume that combining products andservices in a package over a single brand will add value and createeconomies of scale