Rice Energy Paid $180M for LOLA Energy; CEO Didn’t Want to Sell

In July MDN brought you the news that Rice Energy had bought out the assets of LOLA Energy (see LOLA Energy Sells Out to Rice Energy, Deal Kept Hush-Hush). NGI’s ace reporter Jamison Cocklin was the first to break the news. Since that time, neither Rice nor the company buying Rice, EQT, have talked about it. In fact, they have refused to comment on it. Last week other news sources observed that Rice Energy’s quarterly update contains information about purchasing LOLA Energy (although even the quarterly update doesn’t use the name LOLA). The interesting thing is that the quarterly update pegs the amount. Rice Energy paid $180 million for the assets of LOLA Energy. LOLA was birthed near the end of 2015, by former EQT executives using $250 million of private equity money from Denham Capital (see New Marcellus/Utica Drilling Company is Born – LOLA Energy). Hmmm. Investors put up $250 million, but two years later the company sells for $180 million. We don’t pretend to be high finance experts, but it sure looks to us like a negative ROI on the transaction. Yet we read claims that “everybody who put in money made money.” How does that work?…

Update: see a note in the comments. It appears that although $250M was promised by investors, not all of it is paid up front. Thx to MDN reader Venture Energy for enlightening us!
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LOLA Energy Sells Out to Rice Energy, Deal Kept Hush-Hush

NGI’s Shale Daily has done it again. Ace reporter Jamison Cocklin has unearthed news that (so far) no one else has: Rice Energy has quietly, confidentially, hush-hush purchased all of the assets of LOLA Energy. The sale raises a lot of questions. But first, who is LOLA? No, not the show girl in Barry Manilow’s 1978 hit song Copacabana. LOLA Energy was birthed near the end of 2015, by former EQT executives using $250 million of private equity money from Denham Capital (see New Marcellus/Utica Drilling Company is Born – LOLA Energy). The name LOLA comes from the phrase Locally Owned, Locally Accountable. LOLA didn’t waste any time. They leased land in Greene County, PA–a prime location highly prized by both Rice Energy and EQT–and also in West Virginia, land in Monongalia, Wetzel and Marion counties. Shale Daily reports that rumors have been swirling for weeks, but NGI now has the goods–copies of transfer records going from LOLA to Rice. For some reason, perhaps related to EQT’s impending purchase of Rice Energy, Rice and LOLA have kept the deal hush-hush. But the lid is off now! Here’s what we know about the deal, sprinkled with some MDN speculation…
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New Marcellus/Utica Drilling Company is Born – LOLA Energy

lola energyIt’s not often we have the pleasure of announcing the birth of a new company–in particular a new drilling company in the Marcellus/Utica in what has to be the worst economic conditions in a generation in the industry. But, pop the cork on the champagne and break out the cigars! A group of former EQT executives have just launched LOLA Energy with a $250 million investment from private equity firm Denham Capital. The new company is headquartered in Wexford (Pittsburgh area), PA and has already begun leasing land in the Marcellus/Utica. Company execs say they expect to create 10 to 20 new jobs in the Pittsburgh area over the next year. LOLA’s CEO is Jim Crockard, former senior vice president in charge of production for EQT. The strategy of the fledgling company is to pick up good properties cast off by other drillers because there’s not enough money (or enough profit) to drill in this low price environment…
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