MarkWest Closes Unit Offering - Analyst Blog

Pipeline operator MarkWest Energy Partners L.P. (MWE) announced the closure of its previously announced public offering. The partnership priced the public offering of 10,000,000 common units at $54.25 apiece, with an over-allotment option for an additional 1,500,000 units.

The gathering and processing master limited partnership ("MLP") plans to use the proceeds - approximately $521.1 million after the underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses - to finance the proposed buy out of 'The Energy & Minerals Group's' (EMG) 49% interest in the Marcellus shale joint venture project.

(Read our full coverage on the planned acquisition: MarkWest to Buy Stake in JV )

However, in case the transaction fails to materialize, MarkWest intends to utilize the offering proceeds to provide capital expenditures and working capital for general partnership purposes.

Denver, Colorado-based MarkWest Energy is engaged in the gathering, processing and transmission of natural gas, transportation, fractionation and storage of natural gas liquids (NGLs), and the gathering and transportation of crude oil.

MarkWest units currently retain a Zacks #1 Rank, which translates into a short-term Strong Buy rating.

MarkWest owns a high-quality and diverse portfolio of midstream assets that generate stable and recurring revenues based on long-term fee-based contracts. Over the last few years, the partnership has consolidated its position in the midstream business, achieved through a combination of organic efforts and accretive acquisitions.

With its proven track record of supporting producers in the development of shale plays, MarkWest is in a great position to participate in infrastructure upgrade that will be required for the development of the leasehold assets.

Last year, MarkWest teamed up with another MLP, Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (SXL) , to build a distribution system to transport ethane produced in the Marcellus Shale Basin (in north eastern U.S.) to markets along the Gulf Coast. We believe that the initiative, known as the 'Mariner Project,' offers several benefits.

Not only will the project help MarkWest to profit from the direct opportunity of capturing demand for ethane takeaway capacity at Marcellus, but it will also support higher gathering system volumes and higher ethane production.

We also appreciate MarkWest's steady improvement in its liquidity/cash flow position and its track record of consistent distribution growth. Furthermore, with 192% distribution growth since the IPO in May 2002, we are confident of the partnership's total return potential.

MARKWEST EGY PT ( MWE ): Free Stock Analysis Report

SUNOCO LOGISTIC ( SXL ): Free Stock Analysis Report

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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.

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

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