On Thursday, natural gas distributor AGL Resources (UNKNOWN:GAS.DL) announced it has acquired "certain assets" from the retail services business of fellow gas distributor NiSource (NYSE:NI).

The business in question provides warranties and "energy efficiency leasing solutions" for homes and small businesses. The assets that AGL has acquired include approximately 500,000 customer warranty plans for appliances and gas lines for customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The plans are sold under the ESP brand name in Indiana, the Columbia Retail Services and Service Protection Group brands in Kentucy, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and the Guardian Care brand in Massachusetts.

In a statement, AGL clarified that this purchase "almost doubles the size of our retail services business." Additionally, the company says it believes the transaction will be accretive to profits in 2013.

Meanwhile, NiSource says that the divestiture of these assets -- and the approximately $120 million it will receive for them from AGL -- will allow it to further focus on its core regulated utility and pipeline operations.