For sale: PGW, largest municipally owned gas utility in the US

Philadelphia Gas Works headquarters. Credit: Rikard Larma/METRO
Philadelphia Gas Works headquarters. Credit: Rikard Larma/METRO

The largest municipally owned gas utility in the country is ready to be sold.

The Philadelphia Gas works, with its 500,000 customers, is now open to bids from potential buyers, the city announced Friday.

Interested parties will be required to show competence in successfully running the major utility as part of its application. The city will accept proposals from qualified bidders by October. After a review, the city will choose finalists to submit a full proposal and expects to enter final negotiations with the winning bidder by December, according to a news release.

“I believe strongly that the sale of PGW will create jobs in the city, benefit PGW customers and grow Philadelphia’s economy,” Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement.

A decade ago, the 176-year-old gas company required a $45 million loan to pay its bills. In 2013, the company generates about $600 million in annual revenue, according to a news release.

JPMorgan merger-guru Paul Dabbar said he expects strong interest in the 176-year-old utility.

“We know there is strong interest from the number of unsolicited inquiries we have already received,” Dabbar said in a news release.

PGW employs about 1,600 workers, many of which are represented in local labor unions.


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