EQT, APP Challenge Rice Energy’s $200M Bid for ANR Shale Assets

auction-gavel.jpgTwo weeks ago MDN told you that Rice Energy had offered a “stalking horse” bid of $200 million for the shale assets of now-bankrupt coal company Alpha Natural Resources (see Rice Energy Offers Bankrupt ANR $200M for Marcellus/Utica Assets). ANR and Rice were joint venture partners for other shale acreage. Rice previously bought ANR out in that deal. So Rice and ANR are already buds. It appears part of the process in making a so-called stalking horse bid involves certain conditions and assurances (and payouts should someone else bid more). It’s all complicated financial stuff, not our specialty. But EQT and American Petroleum Partners (APP), two other Marcellus/Utica drillers, are also interested in ANR’s assets and apparently willing to bid at least as much as Rice. But because of these special conditions, bidding $200 million will cost them more than it will for Rice. So EQT and APP complained to the bankruptcy judge that Rice Energy is getting a sweetheart deal from ANR–a deal that should be canceled. The bankruptcy judge disagreed…

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