Energy Business

Hess Raises $2.7 Billion in Sale of Midstream Stake

Oil pipeline
Source: Thinkstock
In a deal announced Thursday morning, independent oil and gas producer Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES) said it had sold a 50% stake it its midstream assets in the Bakken shale play to Global Infrastructure Partners for $2.675 billion. The two companies will form a joint venture to be called Hess Infrastructure Partners, which will continue to pursue the proposed initial public offering (IPO) of common units in Hess Midstream Partners L.P.

The partnership is all about raising cash for Hess. According to the announcement:

With the proceeds from this transaction, plus cash on hand and an untapped $4 billion revolving credit facility, Hess will have a highly advantaged liquidity position compared to its peer group. Consistent with its financial strategy, the company will use proceeds from this transaction to preserve the strength of its balance sheet in the current oil price environment, provide additional financial flexibility for future growth opportunities and continue to repurchase stock on a disciplined basis.

For its part, Global Infrastructure Partners has substantial experience with midstream assets. The private equity firm paid $2 billion in 2012 for Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s (NYSE: CHK) stake and general partner units in Chesapeake Midstream before selling its stake in what was then called Access Midstream to Williams Companies Inc. (NYSE: WMB) last year for $6 billion.

So far 2015 has not been kind to midstream master limited partnerships (MLPs). The Alerian MLP index has dropped 8.2% year to date, although midstream IPOs in 2015 have been top performers. The planned Hess Midstream IPO could continue the good-news run. And Hess, which trades near its 52-week low, needs some good news for investors.

Hess stock traded up more than 5% in the early afternoon on Thursday, at $69.00 in a 52-week range of $63.80 to $104.50.

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