Summit Completes Acquisition of Stephens-Owned Arkansas Oklahoma Gas

Summit Completes Acquisition of Stephens-Owned Arkansas Oklahoma Gas

Summit Utilities of Littleton, Colorado, has completed its acquisition of Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp., the Fort Smith utility owned for more than seven decades by the Witt Stephens family.

The closing capped a 100-percent ownership transfer that was first announced in August.

In addition to its new operations in Oklahoma and Arkansas, Summit owns and operates natural gas distribution subsidiaries in Colorado, Missouri and Maine. Both Summit and AOG are privately held, and neither company revealed financial details of the transaction. AOG's 60,000 customers more than double Summit's customer base.

Arkansas Oklahoma Gas will continue operating under its own name, and top members of management will stay on with Summit, including AOG President Kim Linam, who will take a national role as chief administrative officer, according to a news release from AOG.

"Combining forces brings not only added expertise to the team, but additional financial resources for ongoing growth," Linam said in a statement. "Together, there is a tremendous opportunity for AOG and SUI to grow..."

Senior Vice President Bob Neissl will become chief operations officer. Fred Kirkwood, AGO's senior vice president of customer development will continue in that role, as will Vice President of Engineering Therese Reinhard and Vice President of Information Technology Jeremy Schreckhise.

Witt Stephens Jr. said his family had been honored to work with AOG's management and employees for 72 years, serving the Fort Smith area. "Our customers have been loyal, dependable and cooperative, and we are sure grateful... We wish Summit the best, and know that AOG will continue to thrive under their ownership just as it has for us."

Stephens had said in August that "fair treatment of AOG's customers and employees" was a prerequisite for the deal. Kurt Adams remains as president and CEO of Summit.