Singapore investors offer $115 million for The Gas Company

The Gas Company is being sold to a Singapore-based corporation for $115 million in cash, Citizens Communications of Stamford, Conn. announced yesterday.

The sale to K-1 USA Ventures, Inc. is expected to close in the second half of 2003, according to a press release issued by K-1 and The Gas Company.

The Honolulu-based The Gas Company has a Kaua’i branch in Lihu’e that provides propane fuel to local residents and businesses.

The proposed sale must first be approved by the Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission and the Division of Consumer Advocacy.

The sale follows the completion of a deal between Citizens and the Kaua’i Island Utilities Cooperative that brought ownership of Kaua’i Electric to the locally-run electrical cooperative. Citizens has also divested itself of electric utilities in Arizona and Vermont and is now focusing on telecommunications companies.

Jim Yates, vice president Hawaii Energy for Citizens, said, “I’m truly enthused about the sale of The Gas Company to K-1, which is a well capitalized investment group with an expanding presence in the energy field and a genuine commitment to growth in Hawai’i.”

Yates said the new owners will offer continued employment to all existing employees, with wages and benefits similar to what the employees now receive.

Green said the sale of a Hawai’i company to an Asian corporation should work well. “Our major shareholders are based in Singapore and they view Hawai’i as a natural bridge for further expansion in the U.S. As a further boost to the local economy, we also plan to have services such as accounting, banking, insurance and tax functions that are currently done out of state brought back to Hawai’i.”

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