EPL: Stone Acquisition Will Create a 'Premium Offshore E&P Company'

Given the Stone Energy board's recent move to designate the Energy Partners, Ltd. (EPL) merger deal as the "Target Superior Proposal" compared to the deal advanced by Plains Exploration and Production Co., EPL released the following statement:

"EPL is gratified that Stone has recognized that our definitive offer is superior to the Plains agreement. Our offer clearly provides a higher premium and the certainty of immediate value to Stone shareholders. We are confident that the combination of Stone and EPL will create a premier offshore E&P company capable of generating considerable upside value for shareholders of both companies based on our complementary fit and the significant cost synergies we have identified. We look forward to moving quickly with Stone to complete the transaction."

EPL's proposed acquisition of Stone is valued at approximately $2.2 billion, which values Stone's equity at approximately $1.4 billion and includes approximately $800 million of Stone debt. Stone's existing merger agreement with Plains requires a waiting period of five business days before Stone can terminate that agreement.

Founded in 1998, EPL is a New Orleans-based independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company. The company's operations are focused along the U. S. Gulf Coast, both onshore in South Louisiana and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.

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