NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Leaders with Entergy announced an agreement on Monday, Oct. 30 to sell its gas distribution business to Bernard Capital Partners.

Bernhard is a services and infrastructure-focused private equity management firm that will likely purchase the business for approximately $484 million in cash.

The business already serves 95,000 homes and businesses in Baton Rouge with Entergy New Orleans’ gas business serving 109,000 homes and businesses.

Entergy Chairman and CEO Drew Marsh says the partnership with Bernhard Capital will help with their existing strategy of simplifying operations and focusing on regulated electric utility business for customer’s benefit.

“Our gas utilities and dedicated gas employees have been and continue to be an integral part of Entergy, which is why it was imperative to approach this decision with thoughtful and deliberate consideration. I want to thank our employees for their hard work and accomplishments.”

The funds used for the purchase will be utilized to strengthen Entergy’s credit by repaying debt and supporting the customer-centric capital needs for its “growing electric utility business.”

Entergy’s management is set to discuss matters further on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 10 a.m. during a quarterly earnings teleconference.

“We believe this operation is primed to provide even greater services to Louisiana communities and beyond. This agreement is the catalyst for significant investment and opportunity for current employees, customers, and our state. In fact, we anticipate creating more than 100 new, high-paying jobs for Louisiana residents through this investment. We look forward to welcoming all of the business’s current employees into the family of Bernhard Capital’s portfolio companies and working together to make a positive impact on the communities we serve,” said Bernhard Capital Partners Founder and Partner Jeff Jenkins.

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