Out with the Old: Rice Energy Sign Comes Down Day of EQT Merger

Yesterday the Marcellus/Utica experienced a fracking earthquake of historic proportions. That is, a fracking earthquake metaphorically speaking. Yesterday Rice Energy was merged into EQT, creating the largest onshore natural gas producing company in these United States. The $8.2 billion deal was first announced back in June (see EQT Buys Rice Energy in $8.2B Deal, Becomes #1 Gas Producer in US). There was plenty of drama along the way–primarily opposition to the deal by evil corporate raider Jana Partners, in collusion with Atlas Energy (see Proxy Fight: Jana Partners, Atlas Tries to Stop EQT/Rice Deal). Shame on both of them. Fortunately their effort to stop the deal didn’t gain traction. Yesterday was the day when the two companies became one. Two Rice Energy board members, Dan Rice IV and Bobby Vagt, joined the EQT board. Another two independent (outside either firm) board members were also added–Thomas Karam, founder and Chairman of Karbon Partners, and Norman Szydlowski, former president and CEO of SemGroup Corporation. Standing by the virtual water cooler, MDN has overheard that many Rice personnel were nervous about what yesterday would bring. You know the routine: Two rooms–one for those staying, and one for those getting the heave-ho. Everyone waiting to get “the call” to whichever room they’re assigned. We’ve been there. It sucks. But that’s the reality in today’s corporate world. One thing we found interesting is that the huge Rice Energy sign on the company’s (former) HQ building was taken down yesterday–the very day the two merged. An MDN friend caught some of it on a smartphone video (below). EQT isn’t wasting any time making a statement: In with the new, out with the old…

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