Why Corp Raider Jana Won’t Succeed in Derailing EQT/Rice Deal

One of our favorite oil and gas analysts, Richard Zeits, says it’s a long shot at best that the corporate raiders at Jana Partners will be able to scuttle EQT’s planned purchase of Rice Energy. In June, EQT announced a deal to buy out Rice Energy for $6.7 billion in cash and stock, and assume $1.5 billion in debt, for a total deal price of $8.2 billion (see EQT Buys Rice Energy in $8.2B Deal, Becomes #1 Gas Producer in US). A few weeks later so-called “activist investor” (i.e. corporate raider) Jana Partners, in league with the Cohen family (Atlas Energy) started a proxy fight to block EQT’s takover/merger with Rice Energy (see Proxy Fight: Jana Partners, Atlas Tries to Stop EQT/Rice Deal). Instead of buying Rice, Jana is demanding that EQT split itself into two companies–upstream (drilling) and midstream (pipelines). These kinds of machinations are far above our understanding when it comes to high finance. However, there is a guy who eats, sleeps and breathes this stuff–Richard Zeits of OIL ANALYTICS. In an analysis piece on the Seeking Alpha investors website, Zeits says, “Jana’s activism is unlikely to derail” the deal. Here’s his reasoning…

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