XTO Buying Hunt Petroleum

XTO Buying Hunt Petroleum

XTO Energy Inc. will buy privately held Hunt Petroleum Corp. for $4.19 billion in cash and stock in a deal.

XTO Energy said the deal includes $2.6 billion in cash and 23.5 million shares of XTO stock. The stock portion of the deal is valued at about $1.6 billion, or $67.50 per XTO share.

The sale would mean the end to the independent Hunt company, which was started by Texas wildcatter H.L. Hunt, who was considered one of the wealthiest men in America before his death in 1974. His heirs have fought over billions of dollars in trust fund assets since then.

Fort Worth, Texas-based XTO estimates Hunt’s properties’ proved reserves total about 1.052 trillion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent. About half of that is Gulf Coast and offshore, the rest is mainly in the Haynesville Shale deposits in Texas and Louisiana.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Subash Chandra says investors are focusing on the “prime” Haynesville Shale exposure XTO will gain, if it comes at marginal cost.

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