How about a huge energy deal to kick off your week. Exxon (XOM) is buying XTO Energy (XTO) for $41 billion.
It will be a taken as a major bullish signal on natural gas.
Earlier this month, Exxon made a presentation on how the natural-gas era was set to begin.
They were serious.
IRVING, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Exxon Mobil Corporation and XTO Energy Inc. announced today an all-stock transaction valued at $41 billion. The agreement, which is subject to XTO stockholder approval and regulatory clearance, will enhance ExxonMobil’s position in the development of unconventional natural gas and oil resources.
Under the terms of the agreement, approved by the boards of directors of both companies, ExxonMobil has agreed to issue 0.7098 common shares for each common share of XTO. This represents a 25 per cent premium to XTO stockholders. The transaction value includes $10 billion of existing XTO debt and is based on the closing share prices of ExxonMobil and XTO on December 11, 2009.
“We are pleased that ExxonMobil and XTO have reached this agreement,” said Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation.
“XTO is a leading U.S. unconventional natural gas producer, with an outstanding resource base, strong technical expertise and highly skilled employees. XTO’s strengths, together with ExxonMobil’s advanced R&D and operational capabilities, global scale and financial capacity, should enable development of additional supplies of unconventional oil and gas resources, benefiting consumers both here in the United States and around the world.”
Tillerson said the agreement is good news for the United States economy and energy security, as it will enhance opportunities for job creation and investment in the production of America’s own clean-burning natural gas resources.
XTO’s resource base is the equivalent of 45 trillion cubic feet of gas and includes shale gas, tight gas, coal bed methane and shale oil. These will complement ExxonMobil’s holdings in the United States, Canada, Germany, Poland, Hungary and Argentina.
Following the transaction closing, ExxonMobil intends to establish a new upstream organisation to manage global development and production of unconventional resources, enabling the rapid development and deployment of technologies and operating practices to increase production and maximise resource value. The new organisation will be located in Fort Worth, Texas, in XTO’s current offices.
Bob R. Simpson, chairman and founder of XTO, said that over the company’s 23-year history, XTO has developed technical expertise and has assembled a substantial, high-quality and diverse resource base in producing basins across the United States.
“XTO has a proven ability to profitably and consistently grow production and reserves in unconventional resources,” said Simpson. “As the world’s leading energy company, ExxonMobil will build on our success and open new opportunities for the development of natural gas and oil resources on a global basis.”
Tillerson said the agreement is part of an ongoing, disciplined evaluation of timely investment opportunities to create value for shareholders, and to help meet long-term global energy demand growth. The agreement is consistent with ExxonMobil’s business model which is focused on sustainable, long-term value creation.
Completion of the transaction is expected in the second quarter of 2010. In connection with the transaction, J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. are acting as financial advisors to ExxonMobil and Barclays Capital Inc. and Jefferies & Company Inc. are acting as financial advisors to XTO.
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