AGL Resources brings its resources to customers in seven states through its fleet of utilities. Its Nicor Gas unit has 2.2 million customers in Illinois; Atlanta Gas Light, 1.5 million natural gas customers in Georgia. AGL Resources also operates natural gas utilities in Tennessee (Chattanooga Gas) and Virginia (Virginia Natural Gas), as well as in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey. Overall, the company distributes natural gas to 4.5 million customers. Through its nonregulated subsidiaries, AGL Resources markets natural gas to retail and wholesale customers, stores and transports gas, and offers asset and risk management services. In a major expansion in 2011, the company acquired Nicor in a $2.5 billion deal.
As a result of the deal, AGL Resources added 1 million unregulated retail customers and a wholesale gas business that can deliver 4.7 billion cu. ft. per day of natural gas to its customers. The expanded company also has more than 80,000 miles of gas pipeline The transaction is part of an industry consolidation trend which is seeing power companies beef up their regulated and retail sales segments as a way to address the lower demand and prices for their wholesale power offerings.
In addition to upgrading its regulated utility operations AGL Resources is also developing its higher-growth non-regulated businesses. Through its Georgia Natural Gas subsidiary the company owns 85% of SouthStar Energy Services, a gas marketing venture of which Piedmont Natural Gas owns the rest. SouthStar Energy Services, which operates largely as Georgia Natural Gas, serves about 525,000 residential gas supply customers in Georgia, as well as about 500 industrial customers throughout the southeastern US. Boosting its retail operations, in 2010 AGL Resources acquired a 15% stake in SouthStar Energy Services from Piedmont Natural Gas (which previously held a 30% stake) for $57.5 million.
In 2010 the company sold its AGL Networks telecommunications business (795 route miles and 182,000 fiber miles serving the Atlanta, Phoenix and Charlotte markets) to Zayo Group, based in Colorado. The deal was part of AGL Resources' strategy of selling non-core assets in order to raise cash for its core activities.
The company reported an improvement in revenues and operating income in 2010, mainly fueled by the rebounding economy spurring increased demand from its industrial and commercial customers. Warmer-than-usual winter weather dragged down retail gas demand in 2011 while lower gas commodity prices hurt commecial segment revenues, leading to lower overall AGL Resources' revenues that year. Costs related to the Nicor acquisition also had a dampending effect on net income.
Expanding its global power assets, in 2012 AGL Resources 2012 agreed to buy the 67.5% of Australian power station Loy Yang A that it did not already own from Tokyo Electric Power for $1.6 billion. – less