Milbank LLP advised Ullico Infrastructure Fund (UIF) in connection with its successful acquisition from Dominion Energy, Inc. of Hope Gas, Inc., a regulated gas distribution company located in West Virginia, through UIF’s portfolio company Hearthstone Holdings, Inc.
Founded in 1898, Hope Gas is now one of the largest local 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. UIF plans to integrate Hope Gas with its existing Hearthstone LDC business, which owns and operates six local distribution companies in Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, Maine and Montana. The addition of Hope Gas into the Hearthstone portfolio adds a large-scale, established utility with critical importance in its market and offers further geographic diversification. As part of the definitive agreement, Hearthstone is moving its headquarters to West Virginia, further highlighting the importance of the acquisition to the portfolio.
The Milbank deal team was led by Global Corporate partner John Franchini, along with Global Corporate partner Aaron Stine and senior associate Ross Shepard. Advice was also provided by Global Corporate special counsel John Garces and associates Frank Pensabene and Christina Wing; Global Project, Energy & Infrastructure Finance partner Dan Michalchuk with associates Chad Richards and Katherine Hannah; Tax partner Max Goodman and associate Michael Rivkin; Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits partner Joel Krasnow, of counsel Jane Hanson, and associates James Beebe and Jon Sorger; Environmental partner Matt Ahrens and associate Allison Sloto.