Utility giant Southern Co. has acquired a 50 percent stake in the Southern Natural Gas pipeline system from Kinder Morgan Inc. in a deal valued at close to $1.5 billion.

The pipeline system connects natural gas fields in TexasLouisianaMississippiAlabama and the Gulf of Mexico to markets in LouisianaMississippiAlabamaFloridaGeorgiaSouth Carolina and Tennessee

Atlanta-based Southern Co. serves more than 9 million customers. Houston-based Kinder Morgan is the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. It owns an interest in or operates about 84,000 miles of pipelines and about 180 terminals.