Kinder Morgan Buys Tennessee Gas Pipeline And 50% Stake In El Paso Natural Gas

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When Kinder Morgan Inc. ( KMI ) received the approval for the El Paso acquisition earlier in the year from the Federal Trade Commission ( FTC ), but it came under the condition of selling some of its natural gas pipelines to Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP ). According to the recent press release, KMP has agreed to acquire 100% assets of Tennessee Gas Pipeline ( TGP ) and a 50% interest in El Paso Natural Gas (EPNG) pipeline for a purchase consideration of $6.22bn. The sale will be in effect from August 1, 2012. Let's look at the implications of the sale over KMP's value.

We currently have a price estimate of $90 for Kinder Morgan , implying a 15% premium to the current market price.

See our complete analysis for Kinder Morgan Partners here

Change in capital structure

As a part of the purchase, KMP will assume a $2.36 billion of debt - $1.8 billion from TGP and $560 million from EPNG. Of the rest of the consideration which stands at $3.86 billion ($6.22 billion net of $2.36 billion), 10% i.e. $387 million will be met by equity transaction in KMP units to KMI, and remaining by a new $2 billion credit facility, and issuance of equity and debt. So, there is a net addition of $4.36 billion to debt and rest $1.47 billion will be raised through a combination of equity and debt issues.

However, the company is about to sell some of its natural gas pipeline and processing assets later during the quarter, the proceeds from which will be used in paying off the $2 billion short-term credit facility. We are at the moment unsure of what will be the final standing of cash and debt position after the execution of all the transactions, but by the end of Q3 we will have a fair idea, when all transactions are expected to be over.

Natural gas pipeline operations

TGP is a 13,900 mile long pipeline tha3t transports natural gas from Louisiana, the Gulf of Mexico and south Texas to the northeastern United States, including Boston and New York City. It has a capacity of 7.5 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day. EPNG is a 10,200-mile pipeline that transports natural gas from the San Juan, Permian and Anadarko basins to Texas, California, and northern Mexico. It has a design capacity of about 5.6 bcf/day. These pipelines together have a capacity to add up to 13.1 bcf/day. However, one needs to be aware of the fact that company will execute sales of some of its existing natural gas pipeline assets by the end of Q3 as was mandated when FTC granted approval for the KMI- El Paso acquisition.

We previously discussed the asset sales KMP will need to execute post KMI-El Paso merger in the article What The KMI-El Paso Merger Means To KMP. Collectively, all of these transactions are a part of the KMI-El Paso deal, but they are largely aimed at keeping the cash flow from natural gas pipeline operations constant for KMP. So, we believe that there would not be any material impact of these transactions on operation. However, the incoming assets are more attractive than the outgoing ones.

TGP has access to the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, where gas exploration activity has and hence, that offers tremendous growth opportunities. Several other expansion projects with more than $600 million of investment are coming up on these two pipeline systems, which will add supplemental value to the company. The largest investment is in TGP's Northeast Upgrade Project at $440 million and is likely to be in service by November 1, 2013. This project will boost capacity by 636,000 million Btu/d and provide additional capacity out of the booming Marcellus Shale.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks , US Markets
Referenced Symbols: ENB , FTC , KMI , KMP , TGP

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