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Gas Natural Inc. secures bridge financing

Published by
World Pipelines,

Gas Natural Inc. – a holding company operating local natural gas utilities serving approximately 69 000 customers in six states – announced the completion of the sale of its former corporate headquarters building located at 8500 Station Street in Mentor, Ohio for US$1.355 million in cash. The transaction included the building and all related leases and property.

Announcing a bridge loan

The company also announced that it has secured a new US$3 million bridge loan from NIL Funding Corporation, replacing the prior bridge loan, which had been paid in full in July 2015. NIL Funding is an affiliate of The InterTech Group, Inc., which is controlled by Anita Zucker, as trustee for the Article 6 Marital Trust, the company's largest shareholder. In addition, two of the company's directors, Michael Bender and Robert Johnston, are affiliated with The InterTech Group. The unsecured loan has a six month term with interest at 6.95% per annum.

Mr. Gregory J. Osborne, Gas Natural's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"With this sale, we have monetised another non-core asset. The pending sales of our Kentucky and Pennsylvania utility operations are moving forward and will complete our process of divesting non-core assets. We appreciate NIL's continued support as this interim financing provides us liquidity and flexibility during these low cash flow months as we work toward the refinancing of our long-term debt and improved cash generation to build cash reserves during the winter months. Over the last 17 months, we have strengthened our regulatory relationships, made significant operational improvements and completed the sale of our Wyoming utility operations. Collectively, these strategic actions support the restructuring of our balance sheet and our focus on investments in markets with the most profitable growth potential."

Any refinancing process would be contingent upon customary bank and regulatory approvals, including the regulators for each state in which the company operates.

Mr. Robert Johnston, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for The InterTech Group and a director of Gas Natural, commented: "Gas Natural continues to make progress in executing its strategic initiatives and this financing will support those efforts. With this interim financing solution, NIL is demonstrating our continued confidence in Gas Natural's management to execute its plan and improve earnings power."

Edited from source by Stephanie Roker

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