May 2 Jonah Energy, a natural gas company backed by investors including private equity firm TPG Capital, has agreed to acquire oil and gas-producing land in Wyoming from Linn Energy for around $580 million, the companies said on Tuesday.
The 27,000 net acres to be acquired from Linn complements Jonah's existing assets in Sublette County, with more than half of the 1,200 producing wells being bought from Linn already operated by Jonah, according to the companies' statement.
Linn Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2016, one of the largest casualties of the oil-price slump that began in mid-2014. The exploration and production-focused master limited partnership had around $10 billion of debt when it entered the bankruptcy process. It emerged following a debt reorganisation on Feb. 28.
"The deal was very much strategic, as we've been focused on trying to secure this adjacent acreage since 2014. However, the ultimate timing was opportunistic because Linn's emergence from bankruptcy served as a catalyst," Christopher Ortega, partner at TPG Capital, said in a telephone interview.
The acquisition will be funded by equity from Jonah's investor group, which also includes buyout firm EIG Global Energy Partners and management, as well as an existing debt facility belonging to the company that will be increased in size in light of the deal, the statement said.
Jonah's financial adviser was Evercore Partners, while its legal adviser was Vinson & Elkins LLP. (Reporting by David French in New York)
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