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Selling Gas


Roughly 330 Intermountain Gas Company employees are wondering about the security of their jobs after the company confirmed plans to sell.

Bill Glynn, president of Boise-based Intermountain Gas, declined to discuss a possible sales price after BW broke the story last week, but he said there are numerous companies interested in buying Intermountain Gas.

If all goes as planned, the sale could be final by this fall or earlier.

Employees and the Public Utilities Commission were notified of the decision to sell last week. While the announcement leaves some employees wondering about their futures, Glynn said he hopes there will be minimal changes in either employment or operations following the sale.

"We've put a lot of heart and soul into this company, and we want it run very similar to how we run it," he said. "There will be no material change to the employee base. It is a local business. The demand is very, very local."

A spokesman for the Public Utilities Commission confirmed that Intermountain Gas officials had met with two of the three commissioners to discuss the possibility of the sale.

"We have received word of a possible sale," said Gene Fadness, a spokesman for the Public Utilities Commission, which regulates Intermountain Gas.

The company, which began serving customers in 1955, now has more than 300,000 customers in Idaho—the majority of which are residential, followed by small commercial and industrial.

The utility was a public company in the 1970s, but a group of investors consolidated in the mid-1980s after a hostile takeover bid. It has been privately held by the same group of investors since.

The parent company, Intermountain Industries, also owns Petroglyph Energy, which is involved in the production of oil and gas reserves in Colorado and Utah, but is still Boise-based.

Glynn said Intermountain Gas has received many offers to buy the business over the years, but the recent trend toward consolidation in the energy industry, as well as the increasing interest in energy as an investment, prompted the sale.

The company has hired Citigroup investment banking firm to manage the sale, but Glynn said the owners will have the final decision over who will ultimately take over Intermountain Gas.

"If the consolidation is occurring, and we think it is going to continue, and we want to manage the outcome, you want to manage while you're at the top of your game," Glynn said.

No formal application for a sale has been made, and a review of a sale by the PUC would take into account any potential buyer's ability to manage the customer load and maintain price structures and stability, Fadness said. The review would also take into account the financial viability of the buyer.