Marathon Increases Cash Dowry for MarkWest Buyout by 63%

It was only four months ago that Marathon Petroleum (headquartered in Ohio, fourth largest refiner in the U.S.) announced a deal to buy MarkWest Energy, arguably the premier Marcellus/Utica midstream company (see Midstream Bombshell: MarkWest Sells Itself to Marathon Petroleum). It certainly seemed like the two were on the way to consummating the marriage by the end of this year (see Marathon 3Q15: Closing on MarkWest Merger “Later this Year”). Last week MarkWest told unitholders (think shareholders) it’s time to sign your proxy statements allowing representatives to “vote yes” to the deal (see MarkWest Tells Unitholders Time to Sign Proxy for Marathon Sale). A few days later MarkWest co-founder and former CEO John Fox launched a publicity campaign to announce his strong opposition to the deal (see Former MarkWest Energy CEO Urges Vote Against Marathon Buyout). This week Marathon announced it is increasing its dowry–a one-time cash payment it will make to MarkWest unitholders–from $675 million to $1.075 billion. That $400 million increase pushes the deal value/offer to $15.1 billion. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that last week Fox came out with guns blazing against this deal and this week the dowry went up 63%…

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