Western Gas Partners, LP (NYSE: WES) today announced that it has acquired an additional 24-percent membership interest in Chipeta Processing LLC (“Chipeta”) from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC) for total consideration of $135 million. Chipeta owns the Chipeta natural gas processing plant complex, which includes three processing trains: a 240 MMcf/d capacity refrigeration unit completed in November of 2007, a 250 MMcf/d capacity cryogenic unit commissioned in April 2009, and a 300 MMcf/d capacity cryogenic unit (“Train III”), scheduled to come on line in the third quarter of 2012. As a result of the acquisition, the Partnership owns a 75-percent membership interest in Chipeta, while a third party retains a 25-percent membership interest.
“With Train III very close to completion, the additional interest in Chipeta is a natural complement to our existing asset base,” said Western Gas Partners’ Chief Operating Officer Danny Rea. “Not only does the acquisition add to our fee-based portfolio, but drilling activity in the basin has led to consistent throughput growth despite lower commodity prices and we expect that Train III will be full after commissioning.”
The Partnership financed the acquisition with $128.3 million of cash on hand, and the issuance of 151,235 common units to Anadarko and 3,086 general partner units to Western Gas Holdings, LLC, the Partnership's general partner, at an implied price of approximately $43.74 per unit. The transaction will be immediately accretive to the Partnership, with the acquisition price representing an approximate 7.9 times multiple of the assets’ forecasted 2013 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
The acquisition closed on August 1, 2012, with the Partnership receiving distributions from Chipeta’s operations (related to the additional interest) beginning July 1, 2012. The terms of the transaction were unanimously approved by the board of directors of the Partnership’s general partner and by the board’s special committee, which is comprised entirely of independent directors. The special committee engaged Evercore Partners to act as its financial advisor and Bracewell & Giuliani LLP to act as its legal advisor.