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The largest natural gas distributor in West Virginia will have new ownership before the end of 2021.

A deal was struck for UGI Corp. — a Pennsylvania-based gas and power distribution group — to purchase Mountaintop Energy Holdings, owner of Mountaineer Gas Co. The $540 million deal includes the assumption of $140 million of debt and is expected to close during the second half of this year, pending customary regulatory and closing conditions. That includes approval by the West Virginia Public Service Commission.

Snapping up Mountaineer Gas gives UGI a dominant, statewide footprint that it says will expand its current customer base by 30%. Mountaineer Gas services more than 220,000 customers in 49 of West Virginia’s 55 counties — 90% of which are residential customers — with nearly 6,000 miles of pipeline. The 450-employee company’s training center, customer service center and corporate offices are based in West Virginia.

Robert F. Beard, UGI’s executive vice president for natural gas, said in a statement: “Mountaineer is a great fit for our natural gas businesses and UGI as a whole. The company brings an exceptional management team with significant experience, a track record of safe operations, and strong regulatory relationships.

“We look forward to becoming a part of the West Virginia community and investing in the safety and reliability of the Mountaineer system, while maintaining competitive rates for our customers and building on an already strong history of excellent customer service.

“This transaction makes sense strategically, operationally, and culturally and we look forward to welcoming the Mountaineer employees and customers to the UGI family of companies.”

Attempts to reach representatives of Mountaintop Energy Holdings were unsuccessful.

This is the second significant recent transaction for UGI. It invested in New Energy One HoldCo LLC in November, a company that’s assisting with the development of a utility-scale renewable natural gas project in Idaho.