Summit Utilities Inc. announced Monday it is now the official gas provider to about 425,000 customers in Arkansas after closing on a deal to buy the assets from CenterPoint Energy Inc.
The $2.1 billion acquisition, announced in April, includes customers and infrastructure in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texarkana, Texas. The closing also marks CenterPoint's exit from Arkansas -- the Houston-based utility will no longer have gas customers in the state. State regulators approved the transaction in December.
Summit now owns gas distribution systems serving 525,000 customers and providing 17,000 miles of gas main pipeline across the three states. About 600 CenterPoint employees will join Summit's operations.
"The team members that are serving Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texarkana communities today will continue to deliver exceptional natural gas service to our customers," Summit President and Chief Executive Officer Kurt Adams said in a statement. "Although the name of the company that provides this service will be changing from CenterPoint Energy to Summit Utilities, our objective is to make this transition as seamless as possible."
As the utilities migrate operations, CenterPoint will continue to provide customer service, billing and marketing support to Summit customers in a transition that could take up to a year. Customers do not have to take any action.
When the deal was announced, Adams outlined Summit's plans to expand operations and add new employees in Fort Smith and Little Rock. Summit, a privately held company, began operations in Arkansas in 2017 with the purchase of Fort Smith-based Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp.
Adams noted then that Arkansas is the largest part of the company's operations. "We are eager to become a part of the community in these new service territories and do our part to help them prosper," Adams said in the statement Monday.
Summit, based near Denver, owns natural gas distribution and transmission subsidiaries that operate in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. It operates utilities that serve 625,000 customers including Arkansas Oklahoma Gas, Colorado Natural Gas, Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Summit Natural Gas of Missouri and Summit Utilities of Arkansas.