Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMP) to Purchase Pipeline Operator

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted January 31, 2013

In a deal worth $3.22 billion, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP) will buy Copano Energy (NASDAQ: CPNO), a natural gas pipeline operator. TPG Capital, the private equity firm that is Copano’s biggest shareholder, will receive a 41 percent premium on its $300 million investment once the deal is complete.

Pipelines that move lucrative gas and gas liquids are becoming more important as infrastructure struggles to keep up with output in unconventional fields.

North American pipeline takeovers have increased lately as more and more companies try to get in on the shale boom.

From CNBC:

“Copano is already executing on a substantial backlog of expansion projects for which it has secured customer commitments and is exploring a significant amount of projects incremental to these,” said Kinder Morgan Chief Executive Richard Kinder.

Kinder Morgan’s offering of 0.4563 of its unit per Copano share means a per-share price of $40.91, which is a premium of 23.5 percent over Copano’s closing price of 333.13 on Tuesday. Shares for Kinder Morgan closed at $89.66.

Copano presently is involved with almost 6,900 miles of pipeline, collectively moving up to 2.7 billion cubic feet of gas daily. It also has 9 processing facilities, capable of processing in excess of 1 billion cubic feet of gas daily.

According to Kinder Morgan, most of Copano’s present workforce should remain in place, and the deal will likely be closed in Q3.

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