New Jersey Resources Corp. unit NJR Midstream struck a deal to buy the Leaf River Energy Center LLC, a natural gas storage facility in southeastern Mississippi, from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners Inc. for $367.5 million.
Leaf River, acquired by Macquarie in 2012, connects to six interstate pipelines and has a combined storage capacity from three salt dome caverns of 32.2 million Dth. The facility could be expanded by an additional 13.1 million Dth, NJR Midstream said in a Sept. 5 release.
The caverns came online between 2011 and 2014, making it one of the newest high capacity storage facilities in the country. NJR Midstream said the deal should close in 2019 and it will support the company's net financial earnings growth rate of 6% to 8%.
"This transaction is another example of our commitment to pursuing and delivering long-term shareowner value by acquiring high-quality assets with organic growth potential," New Jersey Resources President and COO Steve Westhoven said.
At the closing, NJR Midstream would acquire 100% of Leaf River's issued and outstanding limited liability company interests, according to a Sept. 5 SEC filing. After the deal, NJR would have ownership interests in storage facilities in the Gulf and Marcellus regions with working gas capacity in excess of 44 million Dth.
NJR on Sept. 3 entered into a commitment letter with Wells Fargo Securities LLC and Wells Fargo Bank National Association that provides NJR a senior unsecured 364-day bridge loan facility of up to $350 million to help fund the deal.