AmeriGas Partners, L.P. has entered into a deal to buy the propane business of Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. for $2.9 billion in a transaction that would add over one million retail propane customers and over 500 million gallons to AmeriGas's propane operations.

AmeriGas, which currently serves about 1.3 million customers nationwide, plans to combine Heritage Propane's operations with its own, according to a company press release. Heritage Propane includes propane operations in 41 U.S. states held by Energy Transfer subsidiaries Heritage Operating, L.P. and Titan Energy Partners, L.P.

AmeriGas believes the move will help meet its goals of growing EBITDA by three percent annually and increasing its distributions by five percent per year, according to Lon R. Greenberg, chairman of AmeriGas, and chairman and CEO of UGI Corporation, which owns 44 percent of AmeriGas.

The acquisition includes $1.5 billion in cash, about $1.3 billion in AmeriGas common units, and the assumption of $71 million in debt. The transaction is expected to close in late 2011 or early 2012.