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LINN Energy And LinnCo Announce Early Termination Of Hart-Scott-Rodino Waiting Period For Definitive Merger Agreement With Berry Petroleum Company

HOUSTON, March 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LINN Energy, LLC (Nasdaq:LINE) and LinnCo, LLC (Nasdaq:LNCO) today announced that they have received early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, in connection with their proposed merger with Berry Petroleum Company (NYSE:BRY), which was announced on February 21, 2013. The termination of this waiting period, which is effective as of March 13, 2013, satisfies one of the conditions to closing for LINN Energy and LinnCo's proposed acquisition of Berry Petroleum Company. 

The transaction is subject to other closing conditions, including the approval of the shareholders of Berry and LinnCo and the unitholders of LINN Energy. Subject to satisfaction of these other closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close by June 30, 2013. 

As previously announced on February 21, 2013, LINN Energy, LLC, LinnCo, LLC, and Berry Petroleum Company have signed a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which LINN and LinnCo will acquire all of Berry's outstanding shares for total consideration of approximately $4.3 billion, including the assumption of debt. The transaction, which is structured as a stock-for-stock merger of Berry with LinnCo followed by the acquisition of the Berry assets by LINN, is expected to be tax-free to Berry shareholders. This transaction represents the first ever acquisition of a public C-Corp by an upstream LLC or MLP.

ABOUT LINN ENERGY

LINN Energy's mission is to acquire, develop, and maximize cash flow from a growing portfolio of long-life oil and natural gas assets. LINN Energy is a top-15 U.S. independent oil and natural gas development company, with approximately 4.8 Tcfe of proved reserves in producing U.S. basins as of December 31, 2012. More information about LINN Energy is available at www.linnenergy.com .

The LINN Energy logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6573

ABOUT LINNCO

LinnCo was created to enhance LINN Energy's ability to raise additional equity capital to execute on its acquisition and growth strategy. LinnCo is a Delaware limited liability company that has elected to be taxed as a corporation for United States federal income tax purposes, and accordingly its shareholders will receive a Form 1099 in respect of any dividends paid by LinnCo. More information about LinnCo is available at www.linnco.com .

ABOUT BERRY PETROLEUM COMPANY

Berry Petroleum Company is a publicly traded independent oil and natural gas production and exploitation company with operations in California, Texas, Utah, and Colorado. The company uses its website as a channel of distribution of material company information. Financial and other material information regarding the company is routinely posted on and accessible at http://www.bry.com .

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning the proposed transactions, its financial and business impact, management's beliefs and objectives with respect thereto, and management's current expectations for future operating and financial performance, based on assumptions currently believed to be valid. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than statements of historical facts. The words "anticipates," "may," "can," "plans," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "projects," "intends," "likely," "will," "should," "to be," and any similar expressions or other words of similar meaning are intended to identify those assertions as forward-looking statements. It is uncertain whether the events anticipated will transpire, or if they do occur what impact they will have on the results of operations and financial condition of LINN, LinnCo, Berry or of the combined company. These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including but not limited to the ability of the parties to satisfy the conditions precedent and consummate the proposed transactions, the timing of consummation of the proposed transactions, the ability of the parties to secure regulatory approvals in a timely manner or on the terms desired or anticipated, the ability of LINN to integrate the acquired operations, the ability to implement the anticipated business plans following closing and achieve anticipated benefits and savings, and the ability to realize opportunities for growth. Other important economic, political, regulatory, legal, technological, competitive and other uncertainties are identified in the documents filed with the SEC by Berry, LINN and LinnCo from time to time, including their respective Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and Current Reports on Form 8-K.  The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof.  None of Berry, LINN nor LinnCo undertakes any obligation to update the forward-looking statements included in this press release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

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