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Royal makes offer for Atlantic; Oil, gas M&A primed to pick up

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Royal makes offer for Atlantic; Oil, gas M&A primed to pick up

Coal M&A news

Royal EnergyResources Inc. joined two other companies making preliminary approachesfor the U.K.-based coal mining company Atlantic Carbon Group Plc. Atlantic Carbon has5,488,538,505 ordinary shares and controls anthracite mines in easternPennsylvania, according to a Sept. 20 release from Atlantic announcing thepreliminary approach from the Charleston, S.C.-based Royal Energy.

Mining majors YancoalAustralia Ltd., a Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd. subsidiary, and are said to be inadvanced discussions to acquire Rio Tinto's coal mining assets in Australia, The Australian reported Sept. 26.According to the report, no single party is conducting exclusive due diligence,but "bilateral talks" are underway between both the hopefuls.

Naturalgas/midstream M&A news

Appalachian shale gas driller Rice Energy Inc. intends to use a purchase of an adjacentoperator in Pennsylvania to drill longer laterals, lower well costs and liftproduction to 2 Bcf/d in the next few years, company executives said.

Cheniere EnergyInc. on Sept. 30 proposed to buy out all of 's shares it does not already own in a stock-for-stock dealvalued at $1.01 billion. Under the merger proposal, Cheniere would issue 0.5049share for each of outstanding share of Cheniere Partners Holdings, whichrepresents a value of $21.90 per share.

DTE EnergyCo.'s pending purchase of Appalachian gas gathering assets is partof the diversified utility company's plan to make money by giving natural gasproducers additional options for getting out of the Marcellus Shale. DTE Energyannounced Sept. 26 that it made plans to buy midstream gas assets in the Appalachian Basin from and for about$1.3 billion.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. CFO Kathleen Quirk indicated thatthe company will proceed with the US$2 billion sale of its deepwater Gulf ofMexico assets to AnadarkoPetroleum Corp. without bondholders' approval, as some of them aredemanding more money and changes to existing lender agreements.

Duke EnergyCorp. cleared the final regulatory hurdle in its of , and thedeal will close Oct. 3. The North Carolina Utilities Commission issued an orderSept. 29 approving the merger.

Even as corporate takeovers remain scarce, deals involvingupstream oil and gas assets should ramp up after gathering momentum during thethird quarter in a trend that will benefit both buyers and sellers, S&PGlobal Ratings said. "[T]his trend has been positive for the industry's overallcredit quality because companies have so far remained conservative about leverage,"S&P's Ben Tsocanos said in a Sept. 27 note.

Sunoco LogisticsPartners LP struck a deal to acquire Vitol Group's Permian Basincrude oil system for about $760 million plus working capital. Expected to closein the fourth quarter, the acquisition includes a 2 million barrel crude oilterminal in Midland, Texas; a crude oil gathering and mainline pipeline systemin the Midland Basin; crude oil inventories related to Vitol's crude oilpurchasing and marketing business in West Texas; and the remaining 50% interestin SunVit Pipeline LLC.

CenterPoint EnergyInc.'s CFO said Sept. 28 that, with the 30-day window to accept anoffer from OGE EnergyCorp. for its ownership stake in Enable Midstream Partners passing, he had no deal toreport. OGE on Aug. 17 submitted a proposal to acquire, along with a thirdparty, CenterPoint's 55.4% interest in Enable.

An Enbridge IncomeFund Holdings Inc. affiliate agreed to sell its liquid pipelinesassets in the South Prairie region in Saskatchewan and Manitoba to TundraEnergy Marketing Ltd. for C$1.08 billion. The assets for sale are Enbridge'sliquid pipelines and facilities in southeast Saskatchewan and southwestManitoba, including the Saskatchewan and Weyburn gathering systems and theWestspur trunk line.

InfraestructuraEnergetica Nova SAB de CV, or IEnova, has completed the of 's 50% equity in the Gasoductos deChihuahua joint venturefor about $1.14 billion. IEnova is a Mexican subsidiary of .

For the past two years, oil and gas industry observers have beenwaiting for a surge in upstream M&A activity. Now that a price reboundappears to be occurring, the long-anticipated jump in M&A may finally becoming, a Deloitte executive said.

TransCanadaCorp. subsidiary Columbia Pipeline Group Inc. has made an offer toacquire Columbia PipelinePartners LP in an all-cash deal valued at about $848.0 million, or$15.75 per unit.

Newfield ExplorationCo. closed the sale of its producing oil and gas properties andundeveloped acreage in Texas, receiving $380 million in combined proceeds. Thecompany sold unconventional assets in the Eagle Ford Shale to Protégé EnergyIII LLC and conventional natural gas assets in south and west Texas to anundisclosed entity.

Shell MidstreamPartners LP will acquire an additional 20% equity interest in MarsOil Pipeline Co. and a 49% equity interest in from for $350million. The drop down will be funded with cash on hand and borrowings underShell Midstream's credit facilities.

SemGroupCorp. completed its merger with Rose Rock Midstream LP as scheduled, assuming fullownership of thepartnership's outstanding units. SemGroup's stockholders and Rose Rock Midstream's controllingcompanies bothapproved the merger over the past month.

Tarsier EnergyLtd. is seeking FERC approval by Oct. 31 to 100% of the membershipinterests in Bluco EnergyLLC from GoComCorp., according to an application filed Sept. 23. Financial terms ofthe deal were not disclosed.