In largest energy merger in a decade, Exxon Mobil buys XTO for $31 billion

Exxon Mobil said Monday that it has agreed to buy XTO Energy, a natural gas producer, for $31 billion. The deal is the largest energy merger in nearly a decade.

Exxon Mobil said Monday that it has agreed to buy XTO Energy, a natural gas producer, for $31 billion in stock and the assumption of $10 billion in debt.

The deal is the largest energy merger in nearly a decade, and will give Exxon the equivalent of about 45 trillion cubic feet of natural gas throughout the United States.

"XTO is a leading U.S. unconventional natural gas producer, with an outstanding resource base, strong technical expertise and highly skilled employees," Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said in prepared remarks.

The deal has prompted new speculation about which natural gas producers could be taken over next, such as Devon Energy.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2010. Exxon said it will keep XTO as an upstream business unit to develop "unconventional natural gas and oil resources." The business will remain headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.

Under the terms of the deal, Exxon will pay XTO shareholders .7098 common shares for each XTO share, or about $51.69 based on Friday's closing prices. Exxon said that represents a 25 percent premium for XTO shares.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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