January 28, 2014 / 4:56 PM / 4 years ago

Energen launches sale process for Alagasco - source

NEW YORK, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Oil and gas company Energen Corp has launched a sale process for its Alabama natural gas utility Alagasco, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Alagasco is the largest natural gas distributor in Alabama, with around 425,000 customers in north and central Alabama.

The source could not be named because the sale process is not yet public.

In April, Energen Chief Executive James McManus acknowledged that the firm was considering selling the utility, noting that his thinking on the matter had evolved.

“I don’t think ... we’re never going separate,” he said, speaking on a conference call with investors. “That’s not the thinking right now.”

Energen could not be immediately reached for comment.

The sales process was previously reported in the Wall Street Journal. Bids for the business, which could be worth more than $1 billion, are due in the next few weeks, the report said.

Shares of Energen rose 3.7 percent to $70.67 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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