Monday, December 14, 2009

ExxonMobil Buys XTO Energy For $41 Billion

Exxon Mobil is buying XTO Energy, a natural gas producer, for $31 billion in stock and the assumption of $10 billion in debt. Under the terms of the deal, Exxon will pay XTO shareholders .7098 common shares for each of their XTO shares, a 25 percent premium to Friday’s closing price.

Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, plans hearings next year to examine the Exxon acquisition of XTO Energy and "unconventional extraction techniques (hydraulic fracturing)." There is concern that about hydraulic fracturing’s effect on groundwater. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Sen. Robert Casey [D-PA] have introduced a bill during the last two congressional sessions that would subject fracturing to the Safe Drinking Water Act. Under the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2009 (HR 2766) and Senate companion Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act (S. 1215), companies would be required to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

Under change-in-control provisions in his contract, XTO Chairman Bob R. Simpson will get a $23 million bonus and $10.8 million in salary, plus various other payments. (WSJ, 12/14/09)

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