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Thursday, 04/26/2012 9:54:16 AM

Thursday, April 26, 2012 9:54:16 AM

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Suburban Propane to buy Inergy's retail propane business for $1.8 bln
Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:39am EDT

April 26 (Reuters) - Suburban Propane Partners LP said it would buy Inergy LP's retail propane operations for about $1.8 billion in a deal that will double its customer base and make it one of the top propane retailers in the United States.

Suburban's biggest ever deal marks the second large acquisition in the propane retailing industry in less than a year. Last October, AmeriGas Partners LP acquired Energy Transfer Partners L.P.'s propane business for $2.8 billion.

While propane has long been used in barbecue grills, about 5 percent of total U.S. households now use propane for heating.

Suburban's deal for Inergy's propane business includes $1 billion newly issued Suburban senior notes, $200 million in cash and $600 million new Suburban common units.

Inergy Propane sells propane in 33 states from 338 customer service centers. The acquisition will add about 600,000 customers and 325 million retail propane gallons to Suburban's existing operations.

Suburban said the deal, expected to close in the second half of the year, will make it the third largest retailer of propane in the United States, measured by retail gallons sold in 2011.

Separately, Inergy said the deal would help it focus on its midstream growth strategy as it evolves into a pure play pipelines business.

Evercore Partners acted as a financial adviser to Suburban, while Greenhill & Co advised Inergy
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