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Investing.com – Southwest Gas stock (NYSE:SWX) rose 7% Tuesday on a report in The Wall Street Journal that Carl Icahn has a significant stake in the natural gas provider.
According to the Journal, the activist has written to the utility to abandon a potential acquisition and instead work to improve its share price.
The company is currently pursuing a nearly $2 billion acquisition of Questar Pipeline Company, a gas transportation and storage business of Dominion Energy (NYSE:D). The talks between the companies are at an advanced stage, according to Reuters. The purchase price will include Questar’s debt. Dominion’s share price traded 0.2% lower.
Icahn said the company’s shares, with the proper changes, could appreciate 75%, according to the WSJ report.
Southwest Gas serves more than 2 million customers in Arizona, Nevada and California. Questar’s natural gas pipeline and storage network runs across Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The company also owns the Clay Basin storage facility, the largest underground storage reservoir in the Rocky Mountains, according to its website.
The proposed deal between Southwest and Dominion comes after the energy arm of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKa) abandoned in July its $1.7-billion pursuit of Questar, including debt, because of fears antitrust regulators would block it. This was part of a wider deal to purchase Dominion’s gas infrastructure business, Reuters said.