Wednesday, May 9, 2012

FTC approves Kinder Morgan-El Paso deal

HOUSTON, Texas - Federal regulators have approved Kinder Morgan's planned $20 billion acquisition of El Paso Corp., the company said on May 1, meaning the deal could close in May and create the largest operator of natural gas pipelines in the U.S.

The Federal Trade Commission also ended the antitrust waiting period, it said.

El Paso shareholders have already approved the deal and are set to vote on the form of payment they want to receive during a May 23 meeting.

The approval includes a previously-announced agreement to sell some assets of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, including Kinder Morgan Interstate Gas Transmission, Trailblazer Pipeline Co., natural gas processing and treating facilities in Wyoming and a 50-percent stake in the Rockies Express Pipeline.

Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) announced the plan to acquire El Paso in October, in a deal that was then valued at $20.7 billion.

Kinder Morgan has said it plans to spin off El Paso's production business while keeping its pipelines, making it America's largest natural gas pipeline operator. Kinder Morgan would control more than 80,000 miles of pipelines, allowing it to negotiate more lucrative supply deals around the country.

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