Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (NYSE: KKR) said Monday it agreed to buy natural gas properties in Texas and Oklahoma from WPX Energy Inc. (NYSE: WPX) for $306 million, the latest in the private-equity firm's spate of U.S. energy acquisitions.
The purchase, which consists of 27,000 acres in north-central Texas and eastern Oklahoma, and an additional 66,000 acres in the Arkoma basin, is being handled by its KKR Natural Resources subsidiary, which was formed in a partnership with Premier Natural Resources LLC. This is KKR's third purchase in the Barnett shale, which produces 67 million cubic feet per day.
The deal is the latest in an ongoing $600 million shopping spree by KKR in 2012, with Samson Resources and Hilcorp Resources among its recent purchases. With $2 billion at its disposal, further buyouts could be on the horizon.
We see attractive opportunities to invest behind the development of domestic energy resources and remain excited about the opportunity to grow our natural resources platform by continuing to acquire non-core oil and gas properties from high quality operators and allowing them to reinvest the proceeds in their attractive growth opportunities, said Jonathan Smidt, head of KKR Natural Resources, in a statement.
Shares of KKR, which is based in New York, rose 16 cents to $14.99 in midday trading. Meanwhile, shares of WPX Energy, which is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, fell 6 cents to $17.95. WPX Energy was spun out of Williams Cos. (NYSE: WMB) last year.