CORRECTED-Centrica buys U.S. gas supplier for $731 mln

Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:42am EDT

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(Corrects name of acquired company)

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - British utility Centrica said on Tuesday that it agreed to acquire a U.S. gas provider to businesses as part of a $731 million deal to expand its presence in North America.

Centrica said its North American subsidiary Direct Energy Business agreed to buy the New Jersey-based Energy Marketing business of Hess Corporation for $731 million in cash plus net working capital of around $300 million.

"This transaction will transform our business-to-business operations in North America, giving us leading positions in business gas and power supply and creating a unique dual fuel business in the US," Centrica's chief executive Sam Laidlaw said in a statement. (Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Paul Sandle)