KKR Funds East Resources' Expansion into Marcellus Shale
East Resources has received a significant investment from private equity funds of global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. ("KKR").
The proceeds from KKR's convertible debt investment will be used to:
- strengthen the company's balance sheet through the repayment of all outstanding balances under the company's credit facility;
- enable the company to better manage its leasehold relationships;
- support the company's long-term oil and gas exploration and development activities focused, in particular, on the Marcellus shale; and
- invest in new energy infrastructure.
As a result of the transaction, KKR will have the ability in the future to hold a minority equity position in the company, with East Resources' management and employees continuing to be responsible for the ongoing day-to-day operations.
"Given the increased competition in the Appalachian Basin's Marcellus shale region from a number of well capitalized publicly traded oil and gas companies, we chose a capital provider that has both relationships and skills that could add value to East Resources. KKR's team has demonstrated a strong understanding of our business and is 100 percent aligned with our strategy to grow East Resources.
"Our new partnership will enable East Resources to grow, becoming a larger, stronger company with greater opportunities for our current employees, our leaseholders, and their communities. Finally, it will allow East Resources to play an important role in developing much needed natural gas reserves located in the northeastern U.S. and supporting energy security for our nation," said Terrence M. Pegula, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of East Resources.
"East Resources has a long and successful history of energy development in the region and we are excited to partner with such an impressive management team on an investment we believe not only fuels the efforts of a growing enterprise but also provides lasting economic benefits to the region," Marc Lipschultz, Member of KKR and head of the firm's energy team and infrastructure business, said.
"We look forward to working with an independent company with deep roots in the region and a long history of supporting and encouraging local economic development."
Over the past few years, East Resources has accumulated more than 650,000 net acres in the Marcellus shale located in the southwestern and northeastern regions of the trend, particularly in northeastern Pennsylvania. Given the overall size of its acreage position, the company is increasingly focused on ramping up its development activities and investing for future growth. The Marcellus shale represents the most promising natural gas energy opportunity in North America and East Resources has one of the top acreage positions in the region. The Marcellus is a Devonian-age black, low-density organic-rich shale that is approximately 365 million years old; it extends from the southern tier of New York, through western portion of Pennsylvania, into the eastern half of Ohio, and south through West Virginia. These deposits are close to existing interstate pipelines supplying U.S. population centers in the Northeast that have been historically vulnerable to natural gas price and supply fluctuations.