Bernhard Capital Partners has agreed to acquire the gas distribution business of US energy company Entergy for $484m (€461m).

The acquisition, subject to approval, will give Bernhard control of Entergy Louisiana’s gas business which serves approximately 95,000 homes and businesses in the Baton Rouge area, and the Entergy New Orleans gas business which serves approximately 109,000 homes and businesses in New Orleans.

Jeff Jenkins, founder and partner at Bernhard Capital Partners, said: “Our work is focused on strengthening businesses to, in turn, strengthen some of our country’s most critical infrastructure assets. Under Entergy’s leadership, the natural gas distribution business has effectively served the two largest metropolitan areas in our state for decades.

“We believe this operation is primed to provide even greater services to Louisiana communities and beyond. We have an experienced leadership team prepared to lead it through strategic, transformational growth.”  

NYSE-listed Entergy said the net proceeds from the deal, subject to certain adjustments, will be used to “strengthen the firm’s credit through the repayment of debt and to support the customer-centric capital needs in its growing electric utility business”.

Drew Marsh, chairman and chief executive officer for Entergy, said: “This agreement allows us to continue our strategy of simplifying operations and focusing on our regulated electric utility business for the benefit of our customers.

“Our gas utilities and dedicated gas employees have been and continue to be an integral part of Entergy, which is why it was imperative to approach this decision with thoughtful and deliberate consideration.”

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