Kinder expects clearances for El Paso deal

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 17, 2011 11:27 AM
Kinder expects clearances for El Paso deal

(Reuters) - Kinder Morgan Inc's planned takeover of El Paso Corp in a $21 billion deal that would create the largest oil and gas pipeline company in North America will receive regulatory clearances because there is little asset overlap, Rich Kinder, Kinder Morgan's chief executive, said on Monday.

""We certainly anticipate we will obviously have to comply with the regulator, in this case, the (U.S. Federal Trade Commission), and we'll work with them to satisfy whatever their concerns are; but we don't see that as a major obstacle and we do expect to close, we're thinking, in the second quarter of next year," Kinder told investors on a conference call.

As part of the planned deal, Kinder plans to sell El Paso's exploration and production assets. That deal is expected to close in the second quarter and proceeds will be applied to acquisition debt, Kinder told investors.

El Paso's exploration and production business, which includes assets in the hot Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, is valued at $9.2 billion, according to analysts at Houston investment energy bank Tudor Pickering Holt & Co.

The two companies do have some pipelines that overlap in the U.S. Rocky Mountains, Kinder said, adding that the company would work with regulators on the issue.

Shares of El Paso climbed 24 percent to $24.25 in morning New York Stock Exchange trading. Shares of Kinder Morgan climbed 8 percent to $29.13.

(Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Gunna Dickson)