Friday, February 18, 2011

Atlas shareholders approve company's sale to Chevron

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Atlas Energy Inc. shareholders have approved Chevron Corp.'s $3.58 billion takeover bid, clearing the way for Chevron's first U.S. shale-gas purchase.

Almost 100 percent of shareholder votes were cast in favor of the takeover, which is expected to close "promptly," according to a Feb. 16 statement from Atlas. The company, based in Moon Township, Pa., is one of the largest leaseholders in the Marcellus Shale gas field, controlling 622,000 acres.

Chevron's cash-and-stock bid valued the company at $43.34 a share when it was announced Nov. 9, a 37 percent premium to the previous day's closing price. Based on current prices, the offer is worth $45.48 a share.

Mumbai-based Reliance Industries Ltd., which has a joint venture to drill in the Marcellus Shale with Atlas, said in a Jan. 10 letter to Atlas's board that it should have been given a chance to make an offer.

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