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EQT To Acquire Parent of Retail Supplier

June 19, 2017

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Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • ring@energychoicematters.com

EQT Corporation and Rice Energy Inc. announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which EQT will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Rice common stock for total consideration of approximately $6.7 billion – consisting of 0.37 shares of EQT common stock and $5.30 in cash per share of Rice common stock.

Rice Energy Inc. is the parent of newly launched retail natural gas supplier (see story here) Rice Energy Marketing LLC

EQT will also assume or refinance approximately $1.5 billion of net debt and preferred equity. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.

The acquisition will make EQT the largest natural gas producer in the United States, EQT said

Estimated 2017 sales volume Bcfe/d for the post-acquisition company is 3.6 Bcfe/d

"This transaction brings together two of the top Marcellus and Utica producers to form a natural gas operating position that will be unmatched in the industry. Rice has built an outstanding company with an acreage footprint that is largely contiguous to our existing acreage, which will provide substantial synergies and make this transaction significantly accretive in the first year," said Steve Schlotterbeck, EQT's president and chief executive officer.

As the vast majority of the acquired acreage is contiguous with EQT's existing acreage position, EQT anticipates a 50% increase in average lateral lengths for future wells located in Greene and Washington Counties in Pennsylvania. EQT said that this same land synergy also complements the infrastructure footprint of EQT Midstream Partners, LP, where growth opportunities are expected through drop-downs and additional organic projects.

EQT will also obtain Rice’s midstream assets, including a 92% interest in Rice Midstream GP Holdings LP, which owns 100% of the general partner incentive distribution rights and 28% of the limited partner interests in Rice Midstream Partners LP, and the retained midstream assets currently held at Rice. The retained midstream assets, which EQT intends to sell to EQM in the future through drop-down transactions, are expected to generate approximately $130 million of EBITDA in 2018.

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