Energy Transfer Expansion Plans Include Sunoco Purchase

by InvestorPlace Staff | April 30, 2012 11:32 am

Continuing a move to exit the oil refining business, Sunoco (NYSE:SUN[1]) announced today that they will sell their refinery business to Dallas, Texas, based Energy Partners LP (NYSE:ETP[2]) for $5.3 billion. Sunoco shareholders will receive $50.13 in total, with $25 per share in cash and 0.5245 common units of Energy Transfer, a 23 percent premium over Sunoco’s April 27 closing price.

Sunoco announced a plan in September, 2011 to look at alternatives in the refinery business in after posting a $1.7 billion loss due to lowered profit margins and the shuttering of two refineries according to Bloomberg News.[3]

The purchase provides Energy Partners with new oil terminals and transportation assets, including 4,900 Sunoco retail fueling stations, and a 32.4 percent share of Sunoco’s Logistics Partner’s LP (NYSE:SXL[4])common units, representing 7,900 mile of oil pipelines.

The purchase comes on the heels of Energy Partners’ acquisition of Southern Union (NYSE:SUG[5])in March for $5.4 billion, a move that at that point doubled its gas-pipeline network.

Energy’s purchase allows them to expand the geography of their pipeline network, and opens the door for additional products through that growing network.

“Our goal is to derive more of of our distributable cash flow from the transportation of heavier hydrocarbons like crude oil, NGLs, and refined products,” Energy Transfer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kelcy Warren said in the statement. Natural gas liquids, or NGLs, include propane and butane.

Sunoco is also in discussions with Carlyle Group to take over operations at its Philadelphia refinery, and those talks are expected to continue.

Sunoco was up 20% on the news in mid-morning trading.

Endnotes:
  1. SUN: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=SUN
  2. ETP: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=ETP
  3. according to Bloomberg News.: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/04/30/bloomberg_articlesM3AGD96S972801-M3AQ3.DTL
  4. SXL: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=SXL
  5. SUG: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=SUG

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