W.Va. rejects proposed sale of natural gas utility

AP News
Posted: Dec 23, 2009 9:52 AM

West Virginia has rejected the sale of natural gas utility Dominion Hope to a San Francisco investment company.

The state Public Service Commission said Tuesday the sale to SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners was contrary to the public interest. The commission says it objected to SteelRiver's demand for an immediate $7.2 million rate increase as part of the deal.

SteelRiver agreed to buy Hope and a related Pennsylvania utility, Peoples Natural Gas, from Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Resources Inc. for $910 million last year. Pennsylvania consented in November, but the deal hinged on West Virginia giving the OK as well.

Dominion Hope spokesman Dan Donovan said the company was reviewing the order and evaluating its options.