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EQT selling natural gas distribution business

NEW YORK (AP) -- EQT Corp. is selling its natural gas distribution company to investment fund SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners LP in exchange for some pipelines, gas contracts and $720 million in cash.

Peoples Natural Gas, a regulated natural gas distribution company controlled by an affiliate of SteelRiver, will take Equitable Gas Co. under its umbrella, according to the announcement Thursday. Peoples will pay the cash amount and transfer certain pipeline and storage assets and gas marketing contracts to EQT.

After the deal is complete, SteelRiver expects to control three natural gas regulated utilities operating in contiguous service territories in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky, serving about 700,000 mostly residential customers.

It still requires a number of regulatory approvals. The projected closing is in the back half of 2013.