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Dominion's natural gas distribution companies sold

| Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Energy company Dominion Inc. has sold its Dominion Peoples and Dominion Hope natural gas distribution companies for $910 million to investment fund Babcock & Brown Fund North America.

This is Richmond, Va.-based Dominion's second attempt at selling the two distribution companies. An earlier try to divest to Pittsburgh-based Equitable Resources ran into potential regulatory problems and was scuttled by both parties.

"Dominion Peoples and Dominion Hope are well-run utilities with highly skilled employees and excellent assets serving outstanding communities," said Dominion President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell II, in a statement. "We look forward to working with Babcock & Brown to make this a smooth and timely transition for everyone involved."

Dominion Peoples serves about 359,000 customers in Pennsylvania from its Downtown headquarters, while Dominion Hope provides natural gas to some 115,000 West Virginia customers, according to Dominion.

The parent company said it plans to use the $675 million in after-tax proceeds to reduce debt.

San Francisco-based Babcock & Brown Fund North America owns and manages energy and infrastructure companies throughout North America. Its investors include public and employee pension funds.

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