By Tomi Kilgore
Shares of Gas Natural Inc. EGAS, +1.32% rocketed 69% in premarket trade Monday, after the natural gas distributor agreed to be acquired by an investment fund sponsored by private equity firm First Reserve in a deal valued at $196 million. Under terms of the deal, First Reserve will pay $13.10 for each Gas Natural share outstanding, which is 71% above Friday’s closing price of $7.68. The deal, which is expected to close in the second half of 2017, includes a 42-day “go shop” period until Nov. 22. First Reserve said its plan is for Gas Natural to maintain its own leadership team and employees, with no changes in staffing. The stock had tacked on 3.1% year to date through Friday, while the SPDR Energy ETF XLE, -0.58% had climbed 17% and the S&P 500 SPX, -0.33% had gained 5.4%.