Rice Midstream Investors Hope Deal with EQT Doesn’t Happen

When EQT and Rice Energy announced a deal in June for EQT to buyout and merge in Rice to create the largest natgas-producing company in the U.S., it seemed like a match made in heaven (see EQT Buys Rice Energy in $8.2B Deal, Becomes #1 Gas Producer in US). However, not everyone is in favor of the merger, including a corporate raider who know owns nearly 6% of EQT’s stock (see Proxy Fight: Jana Partners, Atlas Tries to Stop EQT/Rice Deal). You can add another group–from the “inside”–that doesn’t want to see the merger happen either: investors in Rice Midstream. Rice Midstream is an MLP, or master limited partnership, a different structure from the usual stockholding corporation. In an MLP, investors hold “units” instead of shares, and those units are tax-advantaged. The bottom line is that Rice Midstream investors are, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek article, concerned that they will get the short end of the stick in a post-merger EQT world. Already the value of their units has fallen 20% since the announcement of the merger. It wouldn’t hurt Rice Midstream investors’ feelings at all if Jana (evil corporate raider) prevents the merger from happening. For Rice Midstream investors, the enemy of my enemy is my friend…

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