Harris William & Co. managing director Andrew Spitzer had no problems finding a buyer for Houston shale gas company Seaboard Holdings Inc. in his first assignment for the target. San Francisco private equity firm Industrial Growth Partners announced plans to sell Seaboard to Glasgow, Scotland-based pumps and valves maker Weir Group plc for $675 million on Nov. 23.
"The segment where Seaboard operates was a driver in getting the deal done," Spitzer says.
IGP acquired Seaboard in 2007 for an undisclosed amount. It ran a six-week auction to sell the company and received definitive bids on Nov. 15. Weir signed the deal on Nov. 22, paying 11.6 times Seaboard's projected 2011 Ebitda of $58 million. "One way [Weir] wanted to differentiate itself was to move very quickly," says Jones Day partner Troy Lewis, who represented Weir. "That was the key to winning the bid."
Lewis represented Weir when it acquired then-family-owned SPM Flow Control Inc. in June 2007 for $653 million. He also worked with Weir on its June 2008, $40 million acquisition of Mesa Manufacturing Inc. and its November 2010 purchase of American Hydro Corp. for undisclosed terms.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Philip Noblet and Scott Warrender provided financial advice to Weir. David Watson and Andrew Schroeder of Simmons & Co. International were Seaboard's financial advisers and received legal representation from Kirkland & Ellis LLP's David Breach and Stuart Casillas. -- Demitri Diakantonis with Claire Poole
The most anticipated energy deal of the year has been Samson Investment Co.'s $7.2 billion acquisition by private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP, Natural Gas Partners and Crestview Partners along with Japanese trading giant Itochu Corp. So when the purchase was finally announced Nov. 23, it seemed like every bank had a piece of it.
The buyers were advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, BMO Capital Markets Corp., Citigroup Global Capital Markets Inc., Credit Suisse Group, RBC Capital Markets, Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. LLC and Wells Fargo Securities LLC.
Scott Van Bergh, Lex Maultsby, Jan Schipper and Bert Valbona led the team from BofA Merrill Lynch. Van Bergh has worked on purchases of family-owned energy businesses before, having assisted Concho Resources Inc. on its acquisition of Marbob Energy Corp. from brother-and-sister owners last year for $1.65 billion. He also worked on Apache Corp.'s acquisition of BP plc's oil and gas properties in Texas and New Mexico's Permian Basin, as well as western Canada and Egypt last year for $7 billion.
Brad Hutchinson and Greg Pipkin led the deal for Barclays Capital. The duo has been doing a lot of work for Plains Exploration & Production Co. this year, including selling its working interests in oil and gas properties in the Texas Panhandle to Linn Energy LLC, its conventional natural gas properties in South Texas to an unnamed party for $785 million and 20% of Plains Offshore Operations Inc. to EIG Global Energy Partners LLC for $450 million.
Pipkin also worked on BHP Billiton Ltd.'s purchase of Petrohawk Energy Corp. for $15.1 billion and Marathon Oil Corp.'s acquisition of properties in Texas' Eagle Ford Shale from Hilcorp Energy Co. and KKR for $3.5 billion.
Steve Trauber, Jerry Schretter and Zach Jordan led the deal for Citigroup. It is Trauber and Schretter's biggest M&A deal since leaving UBS at the beginning of the year. Greg Weinberger, Mark Filipski and Tim Perry worked the deal for Credit Suisse -- a switch for Weinberger, who has been focused more on downstream and oilfield services deals. Bobby Tudor, Maynard Holt and Ward Polzin advised from TPH. Tudor also worked with Statoil ASA on its $4.4 billion acquisition of Brigham Exploration Co. in October. Holt assisted Apollo Global Management LLC on its sale of Parallel Petroleum LLC to Samsung C&T Corp. and Korea National Oil Corp. for $800 million on Dec. 1.
The Wells Fargo team was led by Daniel Bumgardner, Rob Johnson, Stephen Neill and Jason Hicks. BMO Capital Markets' Tom Dale and RBC Capital Markets' John Sorice, a financial sponsors banker who did 22 years with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. before joining RBC two years ago, also worked on the deal.
J.P. Morgan is leading the loan syndication with 11 banks, led by Larry Landry. Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP's Douglas Horowitz and Vinson & Elkins LLP's Paris Theofanidis are representing J.P. Morgan. Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP's Ann Makich and Vinson & Elkins LLP's Erec Winandy are counseling Wells Fargo.
Mizuho Bank Ltd. and Evercore Partners Inc. assisted Itochu, which is taking 25% of Samson, while the private equity holders will own the rest (with KKR controlling the company with 60%). Mizuho's team included Yasuto Sengoku, Taro Hasuo, Chiharu Yamamoto, Hiroyuki Hori, Seiichiro Kondo, Richard Kelly and Yoiichiro Konno while Evercore's team included Shaun Finnie, Doug Rogers, Jerry Smith, Shane Sealy, Taka Sudo, Brad Parker, Trish Framel, Patrick O'Shea, Matthew Jankovsky and Hiro Miyazaki.
A Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP team including Smith, Andy Calder, Brian Steinhardt, Robert Rabalais, Ed Tolley and Nancy Mehlman counseled the investor group. Smith and Mehlman are advising ITC Holdings Corp. on its $1.78 billion acquisition of Entergy Corp.'s transmission assets, announced Dec. 5. Rabalais heads up Simpson's new Houston office, having jumped over from Vinson & Elkins LLP in April.
Latham & Watkins LLP's Charles Carpenter and Michael Chambers gave legal advice to NGP, while Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP's Paul Kingsley, Mary Conway, Karin Day, Betty Moy Huber, Michael Grossman and Ethan Goldman advised Crestview.
Jefferies & Co.'s Ralph Eads, Joe Gladbach and Ajay Khurana worked with Samson's Schusterman family through the auction process. For counsel Samson tapped Jones Day's Scott Cohen and Jeff Schlegel. Cohen, from the firm's Dallas office, moved there from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in January and has been doing more than just energy: He advised Texas Instruments Inc. on its $6.5 billion purchase of National Semiconductor Corp. in April. -- Claire Poole