UGI has a rich 130-year history as an organization, having thrived through various business cycles, the Great Depression, World Wars and major divestment of assets following the public Utility Holding Company act of 1935. Much of this history is unknown to today’s investor, so we are providing a brief outline of some of the events that have helped to shape UGI into the organization we are today:
The early years – pre 1900:
Letter announcing UGI’s first dividend payment dated June 1, 1885
- June 1, 1882: UGI is incorporated in Philadelphia as United Gas Improvement Company, becoming the first public utility holding company in the United States.
- 1885: UGI pays its first dividend
- 1892: UGI controls more than 30 gas companies ranging from Maine to South Dakota and from Minnesota to Florida. Net income tops $1 million
- 1897: UGI enters into a lease with the City of Philadelphia to run the Philadelphia Gas Works
- 1899: UGI builds its headquarters building at Broad and Arch Streets in Philadelphia. The Company would remain at this location for 75 years
1900 - 1920:
In 1899 UGI moved to Broad & Arch Streets after building a new 12 story building. This site served the company for 75 years
- 1903: UGI holds interests in 45 gas and electric companies throughout the United States
- 1910: UGI marks its 25th consecutive year of dividend payments
- 1917: America enters World War I. UGI provides toluene to the U.S. Ordinance Department for the manufacture of TNT for military needs during the war
- 1918: UGI stock is listed on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange
- Large holding companies proliferate as they consolidate public-utility systems throughout the country.
- UGI merges with American Gas Co.
- UGI acquires Philadelphia Electric Co.
- UGI branches into engineering and heavy construction through its acquisition of controlling interests in Day & Zimmerman and United Engineers & Constructors, Inc.
- 1929: UGI stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange
1930’s and 1940’s :
- 1932: UGI celebrates its 50th anniversary
- The Great Depression puts a halt to the economic boom of the 1920’s
- UGI sells its interests in Day & Zimmerman and United Engineers & Constructors, Inc.
- 1935: UGI marks its 50th consecutive year of dividend payments
- 1935: The Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 is passed, calling for all holding companies more than twice removed from their operating subsidiaries be abolished “as soon as practicable after January 1, 1938”. UGI challenges the new law in court
- 1938: The Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 Act.
- 1940: UGI has $846 million in assets, operates in 11 states, holds investments in 90 companies, four sub-holding companies, and 48 non-utility companies
- 1941: The SEC imposes the “death penalty” on UGI, ordering divestment of 10 separate utility systems.
- 1943: UGI’s divestment plan is approved by the SEC and UGI’s shareholders. The majority of the company’s investments in Philadelphia Electric Company, Public Service Corporation of New Jersey, and Delaware Power and Light were distributed to shareholders directly in stock
1950’s and 1960’s:
UGI enters the domestic propane business in 1959 by acquiring 3 companies in Southeastern Pennsylvania and renaming the business “UGITE”
- 1953: UGI de-registers as a holding company and becomes a public utility operating company doing business entirely within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- UGI focuses on expansion of its natural gas utilities throughout Pennsylvania
- 1958: UGI builds a new 44 megawatt electricity generation station at Hunlock Creek in northeastern PA
- 1959: Ugite Gas, a majority owned subsidiary of UGI, enters the propane distribution business with the acquisition of three companies servicing 21,000 customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and Maryland
- 1960: UGI marks its 75th consecutive year of dividend payments
- 1968: UGI officially changes its name to UGI Corporation
1970’s and 1980’s:
UGI moved to its current location, 460 N Gulph Road, King of Prussia, in 1974
- 1972: The City of Philadelphia chooses not to renew UGI’s lease of Philadelphia Gas Works, ending the 75 year relationship
- 1974: After 75 years at Broad and Arch Streets in Philadelphia, UGI relocates its Corporate Headquarters to Valley Forge, PA
- 1975: UGI builds a 0.25BCF LNG storage tank near Reading, PA
- Late 1970’s: UGI expands into the production and marketing of CO2 industrial gases
- 1978: UGI forms AmeriGas. Ugite Gas becomes the LP Gas Division of AmeriGas.
- 1980: AmeriGas Propane is the 11th largest marketer of LP Gas in the United States, with 60 locations in eastern states
- Early 1980’s: UGI expands into natural gas production and oilfield services businesses
- 1982: UGI marks its 100th anniversary
- 1983: UGI and Prudential Insurance form a joint venture and the AmeriGas LP Gas Division becomes AP Propane
- 1985: UGI marks its 100th consecutive year of dividend payments; establishes the tradename “GASMARK” as one of the first marketers to sell natural gas to business users in the deregulated marketplace
- Mid-to-late 1980’s: UGI divests its gas production, oilfield services and industrial gases businesses to focus on its utility and propane businesses
- 1987: AP Propane acquires CalGas, Inc. marking the nationwide expansion of UGI’s propane business
- 1990: UGI acquires 100% control of AP Propane from Prudential, renames the company AmeriGas Propane, Inc.
- 1992: UGI forms holding company
- 1993: UGI acquires a 30% interest in Petrolane, Inc.
- 1995: UGI acquires a 100% interest in Petrolane, Inc.; UGI contributes Petrolane and AmeriGas into a publicly-traded Master-limited partnership. AmeriGas Partners, L.P. (NYSE: APU) begins trading on April 15, 1995. A subsidiary of UGI serves as AmeriGas’s general partner.
- 1995: UGI Energy Services, Inc. was formed to market natural gas, electricity, and liquid fuels to approximately 30,000 business, commercial, industrial, institutional, and government customers in 9 eastern states as well as Washington, DC
- 1995: Lon R. Greenberg named UGI’s President and Chief Executive Officer
- 1996: UGI reports over $1 billion in revenues for the first time
- 1997: AmeriGas develops a counter-seasonal cylinder exchange business called Prefilled Propane Xchange, or PPX.
- 1999: UGI enters the international propane business with its acquisition of Flaga GmbH in Austria
2000 – today:
- 2001: UGI completes the acquisition of a 20% interest in Antargaz, one of the largest LPG distributors in France; AmeriGas completes the acquisition of Columbia Propane
- 2005: John L. Walsh is named UGI’s President and Chief Operating Officer
- 2006: UGI reports over $5 billion in revenues for the first time; UGI Utilities acquires the gas utility operations of PG Energy Inc. from Southern Union
- 2008: UGI Utilities acquires the gas utility operations of PPL; AmeriGas acquires PPL’s Penn Fuels Propane
- 2010: UGI’s International Propane business acquires the propane distribution businesses of Shell in Poland
- 2011: UGI’s International Propane business acquires the propane distribution businesses of Shell in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and the U.K.
- 2012: AmeriGas acquires Heritage Propane for $2.6 billion; UGI marks its 128th consecutive year of dividend payments and its 25th consecutive year of dividend increases
- 2013: Lon Greenberg retires as Chief Executive Officer; John Walsh, President and Chief Operating Officer, named President and Chief Executive Officer