October 6, 2008

N.D. Resources Firm Finalizes Acquisition of Boise-Based Intermountain Gas Co.

By Hagadone, Zach

MDU Resources Group Inc., a North Dakota-based diversified natural resources company, announced today it had finalized a $328 million deal to acquire Boise-based natural gas firm Intermountain Gas Co.

The deal, which was made public in early July, makes Intermountain Gas an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of publicly- traded MDU and adds more than 300,000 southern Idaho customers to the North Dakota company's approximate 630,000 customers in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, Washington and Oregon.

"We are extremely pleased with this acquisition," MDU President and CEO Terry D. Hildestad said in a Wednesday release. "Intermountain operates in a high-growth area and its employee base is outstanding. This is just a great fit for our utility business."

Intermountain Gas, which has been in operation since 1956, employs about 332 people and serves 74 communities, including Boise, Twin Falls, Sun Valley, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. Shortly after the acquisition was announced, outgoing Intermountain Gas President William Glynn told the Idaho Business Review the privately-held company had experienced recent customer growth of about 4.5 percent annually, and in the 12 months ending March 2008 had revenues of approximately $300 million.

MDU spokesman Mark Hanson said little will change with the acquisition - no work force reductions or service alterations are planned at this time, and the company will continue to do business as Intermountain Gas.

"The only change is we've named an executive vice president/ general manger, and his name is Frank Morehouse," Hanson said. "He will basically oversee the operations at Intermountain."

The gas company's longtime chief, Glynn, will remain with Intermountain's former parent company, privately-held Intermountain Industries, serving as its director. That company, also based in Boise, is pursuing development of oil and natural gas operations in the Rocky Mountains of Utah and Colorado.

MDU is a member of the S&P MidCap 400 index and in the six months ending June 30 reported revenues of $2.37 billion. In 2007 the company was ranked 519 on the Fortune 1,000 list and fourth for total return to shareholders for the period 1996 to 2006 in the mining and crude oil production industry.

It was trading at around $29.25 per share at midday on Oct. 1, up 34 cents from the opening bell.

Credit: Zach Hagadone

(Copyright 2008 Dolan Media Newswires)

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