Clarksburg, W.Va. – Hearthstone Holdings, Inc., a portfolio company of Ullico Infrastructure Fund announced today that it closed on its acquisition of 100% of the equity interests in Hope Gas, Inc., a regulated gas distribution company located in West Virginia.
Hearthstone indirectly acquired Hope Gas from Dominion Energy, Inc.
“I’m pleased Hearthstone is investing in West Virginia and is committed to bringing not only affordable domestic energy to their customers but also their headquarters and job opportunities to the Mountain State,” said U.S. Senator Joe Manchin. “This is great news for the region and I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this investment for years to come,” said Manchin.
“We are excited to bring back the Hope Gas name to West Virginia,” said Morgan O’Brien, Hope Gas and Hearthstone’s President and CEO. “Customers will receive the same great utility service from great Hope Gas employees all located in West Virginia. As we build out the local operation, we plan to aggressively hire in the state by adding jobs that will fuel the health of our local West Virginia communities” said O’Brien.
Founded in 1898, Hope Gas is now one of the largest local natural gas distribution companies (“LDCs”) in West Virginia. With approximately 3,200 miles of main and 2,000 miles of gathering pipes, Hope Gas serves over 111,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers across 35 counties in West Virginia. “We are excited to grow the business and leverage West Virginia’s abundant natural gas resources by collaborating with local natural gas producers to get more locally produced natural gas to more customers in West Virginia. Using local natural gas to enhance the economic and growth opportunities in West Virginia will attract more businesses and jobs to The Mountain State,” said O’Brien.
Hearthstone owns and operates natural gas LDCs in Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, Maine and Montana and water and wastewater utilities in Arizona and Michigan. As part of the definitive agreement, Hearthstone will move its headquarters to Morgantown, West Virginia, further highlighting the importance of the acquisition to the portfolio.
“It is with great honor that I welcome Hearthstone to West Virginia,” said West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. “By moving their headquarters to Morgantown they have not only chosen to invest in our rich energy resources, they have also chosen to invest in our greatest resource, our people. I am excited for what this acquisition means for Morgantown, North Central West Virginia, and our entire state. I sincerely thank all involved in making today’s announcement a reality” said Justice.
“We are pleased with the closing of Hope Gas and further expansion of our presence in the regulated utility space,” said Rohit Syal, Head of Acquisitions for UIF. “Hope Gas is a transformative addition for Hearthstone and we are excited about the growth opportunities in West Virginia while enhancing the safety of our system and expanding our service to more customers,” said Syal.
“Through Hope Gas, UIF looks forward to continuing to help the communities where we operate by investing in those communities, employing responsible labor policies, and committing to local economic development,” said Sonia Axter, Head of Asset Management for UIF.
“Ullico is proud to add another company that has demonstrated continued support of its large unionized employee base and provides essential services to the communities it serves,” said Edward M. Smith, President and CEO of Ullico Inc.