Itochu joins with KKR to buy US oil and gas firm Samson; eyeing exporting shale LNG to Japan by 2015
The Nikkei reports that trading house Itochu Corp. has partnered with KKR to buy most of privately-owned US oil and gas firm Samson Investment Co., aiming to start exporting liquefied natural gas to Japan as early as 2015. The Financial Times notes that the $7.2 billion deal would be the largest leveraged buy-out globally outside the real estate sector this year.
The deal will give the Japanese trading house rights to many US shale gas fields and help Japan secure LNG as demand rises amid increased use of conventional power plants following the March earthquake and tsunami.
...With the acquisition, Itochu seeks to raise its crude oil and gas concessions from 34,000 barrels daily to 70,000 by 2015. The company will initially sell shale gas in North America with an eye toward eventually exporting it to Japan and other parts of Asia. A project is under way in the U.S. to launch facilities as early as 2015 to liquefy shale gas. Itochu will consider exporting LNG from these sites.
Samson operates more than 4,000 wells and has interests in more than 12,500 producing properties. Some key producing regions and basins for Samson are East Texas, Texas Gulf Coast, Anadarko, Permian, San Juan, Green River, and the Williston Basin/Bakken.
The Nikkei report puts KKR’s share of Samson at 60% stake, with Itochu acquiring a 25% interest and the remaining shares to be owned by other funds and general investors.