Laclede Gas Co. completed its planned $975 million purchase of the assets of Missouri Gas Energy from Houston-based Southern Union Co. and is now the largest natural gas distribution company in Missouri, with more than 1.1 million natural gas customers. Laclede now also ranks as the fourth-largest independent, publicly traded pure-play gas utility.
Laclede has 625,000 natural gas customers and Missouri Gas Energy about 500,000. Laclede Gas President Steve Lindsey said the company intends to increase investments in the gas distribution system in western Missouri through its pipeline replacement program. Laclede hired 130 employees in the past two years to replace aging pipelines in the St. Louis metro area. Suzanne Sitherwood, president and CEO of Laclede Group, said Laclede Gas will likely add a similar number in the Kansas City metro area.