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March 3 (Bloomberg) — Philadelphia agreed to sell its natural gas utility to UIL Holdings Corp. for $1.86 billion, giving the fifth-largest U.S. city a needed cash injection for its pension fund.

Proceeds from the sale of Philadelphia Gas Works, the nation’s largest municipally-owned natural gas utility, will add at least $424 million to a pension plan that’s now less than 50 percent funded, Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement today. UIL agreed to keep rates frozen for three years, establish a second corporate headquarters in the city and maintain at least 1,350 jobs at the utility.

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