EQT/Rice Shareholders Make it Official – Merger Happens Nov 13

Next Monday the largest natural gas-producing company in the these United States will be born–from the merger of EQT and Rice Energy, based in Pittsburgh. Yesterday the shareholders for both EQT and Rice voted to approve the merger/deal by overwhelming majorities. The megadeal was first announced back in June (see EQT Buys Rice Energy in $8.2B Deal, Becomes #1 Gas Producer in US). Evil corporate raider Jana Partners tried to stop the deal–but failed, as they acknowledged earlier this week (see Corp Raider Jana Partners Admits Defeat Ahead of EQT/Rice Vote). Next Monday the transaction will be complete and the new EQT will produce more natural gas in the Lower 48 States than Chesapeake Energy, the current reigning champ. Some 84% of the EQT shareholders who voted, voted to approve the deal, and 74% of voting Rice shareholders voted in favor of the deal. What happens next? After the consummation of the merger on Monday, EQT CEO Steve Schlotterbeck said the company will immediately appoint a committee to look into…splitting the company. Yes, you read that right. Not splitting it back into EQT and Rice, but splitting it into upstream (drilling) and midstream (pipelines). Two companies will become one and then become two again. Go figure. A recommendation and decision about whether to proceed with a split will happen, according to Schlotterbeck, by “the end of the first quarter 2018.” There’s little doubt the decision will be “yes” on a split…

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