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Crestwood And Inergy To Merge Forming $7 Billion Midstream Energy Partnership

HOUSTON and KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Crestwood Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: CMLP) ("Crestwood Midstream") and Crestwood Holdings LLC ("Crestwood Holdings") (collectively, " Crestwood") and Inergy, L.P. (NYSE:NRGY) ("Inergy L.P.") and Inergy Midstream, L.P. (NYSE:NRGM) ("Inergy Midstream") (collectively, "Inergy") today announced the signing of definitive agreements to create a fully integrated midstream partnership with a total enterprise value of approximately $7 billion

The combination of Crestwood and Inergy creates a diverse platform of midstream assets providing broad-ranging services in the premier shale plays in North America including the Marcellus Shale, Bakken Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Permian Basin, Powder River Basin Niobrara Shale, Utica Shale, Barnett Shale, Fayetteville Shale, Granite Wash, Haynesville Shale and Monterey Shale. The complementary services offered by Crestwood and Inergy create attractive operational and financial synergies. In addition, enhanced scale and diversification provide further financial flexibility to position the combined partnership to be a formidable competitor for major greenfield development and acquisition opportunities across the midstream value chain. Further, the combination of a significant portfolio of long-term, fee-based contracts with high-quality customers, coupled with a sizable backlog of organic capital opportunities across multiple geographies, provides meaningful visibility to long-term growth.

Under the terms of the definitive transaction agreements, which have been approved by the boards of directors and independent committees of Crestwood and Inergy, the combination will be implemented through a series of transactions, which will result in Crestwood Holdings acquiring the general partner, and thus control, of Inergy L.P.  Crestwood's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert G. Phillips, will lead Inergy L.P. following completion of the transactions, and will serve as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company.  Until all of the transactions have closed, Crestwood Midstream and Inergy Midstream will continue to operate as separate, independent companies. 

The terms of the agreements are as follows: Crestwood Holdings will acquire the general partner of Inergy L.P. and will contribute the general partner and incentive distribution rights of Crestwood Midstream to Inergy L.P. in exchange for Inergy L.P. common units.  Separately, Crestwood Midstream will be merged with a subsidiary of Inergy Midstream.  In the merger, Crestwood Midstream unitholders will receive 1.070 common units of Inergy Midstream for each unit of Crestwood Midstream they own, representing a 5% premium to the 20-day volume weighted average price ("VWAP") of Crestwood Midstream's common units. Additionally, all Crestwood Midstream public unitholders other than Crestwood Holdings will receive a one-time cash payment at closing of the merger of approximately $35 million in the aggregate, or $1.03 per unit, $25 million of which will be payable by Inergy Midstream and approximately $10 million of which will be payable by Crestwood Holdings.  Inergy Midstream and Inergy L.P. will continue to be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbols NRGM and NRGY, respectively.

"We view this transaction as a merger of equals through which we are creating a larger, more diversified operating platform that will be highly attractive to investors, customers, creditors and employees," said Robert G. Phillips, Chairman, President and CEO of Crestwood. " Crestwood operates a first-class portfolio of shale-focused midstream assets, but our operational capabilities and services to our customers currently end at the tailgate of the processing plant.  With this combination, we will truly begin to experience the power of the value chain growth strategy by offering our customers a more comprehensive and competitive suite of services that enables us to capture incremental fee opportunities that expand margins and maximize returns on investment."

"This combination with Crestwood represents Inergy's ongoing and exciting transformation into a pure-play midstream service provider and is accretive to Inergy L.P. and Inergy Midstream unitholders on a per unit basis," said John J. Sherman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Inergy.  "Both of our companies are focused on capitalizing on the rapidly developing U.S. shale plays, and we have been evaluating a number of opportunities to expand our services to gain access to incremental hydrocarbon supply.  Crestwood's reputation and strong competitive position in the gathering and processing, or supply side of the business, greatly complements what we do on the demand side of the business. We believe bringing the two partnerships together through a merger of equals creates a powerful combination that will drive significant value."

Strategic Highlights

  • Increased size, scale and diversity: Together, Crestwood and Inergy have a unique and diverse set of midstream assets and services with visible long-term growth potential and clear operating and financial synergies. The pro forma enterprise is expected to generate approximately $450 million of 2013 estimated EBITDA and to have a total enterprise value of greater than $7 billion, including both Inergy L.P. and Inergy Midstream. By building scale, the combined partnership expects to have increased access to capital and an improved cost of capital that better positions the partnership to secure and execute on sizable and accretive organic development and acquisition opportunities.
  • Complementary growth strategies: Both companies are focused on capitalizing on the unprecedented midstream growth opportunity resulting from the upstream development of North American shale plays.  The combined partnership will have one of the top shale portfolios in the industry with an established position or an active development project in every premier shale play in the U.S.
  • Further expands the value chain linking fundamental supply to fundamental demand: By combining services and asset positions, Crestwood and Inergy will be able to leverage each other's strong customer relationships on both ends of the value chain.  Crestwood provides extensive relationships and existing contracts with the top shale producers and Inergy provides extensive relationships with ultimate end-users including LDCs, refiners, petrochemicals, marketers and producers.    
  • Greater cash flow stability and visibility: Through its expanded customer base and service offering, no single customer would account for more than 20% of the combined partnership's current revenues. Furthermore, approximately 84% of the consolidated partnership's expected 2013 gross margin is under fixed-fee contracts, 51% of which is under firm, take-or-pay style contracts with no volumetric or commodity risk.
  • Enhanced credit profile: The combined partnership is anticipated to receive a credit rating in line with the current Inergy corporate family rating. With a strong pro forma balance sheet, significant contracted cash flows and strong ability to continue de-leveraging, achieving investment grade status to further drive cost of capital synergies continues to be a key objective of the partnership.
  • Delivers significant revenue and cost synergies: The combined partnership is positioned to realize significant commercial and operating synergies given the complementary nature of the business segments, the intent to further expand across the value chain through future development opportunities and incremental acquisitions and consolidation. In addition, Crestwood and Inergy expect to fully realize financial synergies of approximately $15 to $20 million on an annual run rate within the next 24 months.  Savings are expected to be realized through the alignment of assets to maximize efficiencies and overhead consolidation as well as significant cost of capital savings.
  • Experienced, dedicated employee base, leadership, and sponsorship: The combination brings together two world-class organizational staffs, including a combined senior management team with a significant track record of value creation at some of the industry's largest organizations including Enterprise Products Partners, El Paso Corporation, Kinder Morgan and Williams.
  • Strong sponsorship with continued alignment of interests to drive unitholder value: Through its continued ownership of Crestwood Holdings, First Reserve, who, with management, owns 100% of Crestwood Holdings and who is Crestwood Midstream's largest unitholder (owning approximately 43% of its outstanding limited partner interests), continues to demonstrate its commitment to the ongoing growth of the partnership. In addition to First Reserve's substantial investment capital, having raised $23 billion since inception, its significant industry relationships and broad portfolio of energy assets facilitate new business opportunities.  Examples include Crestwood's current contracts with Sabine Oil and Gas, Mountaineer Keystone and RKI Exploration and Inergy's current contracts with PBF Energy. 

Transaction DetailsThe combination of Inergy and Crestwood will be effected through a series of transactions. In the first transaction, which is expected to close in mid-June, Crestwood Holdings will acquire the general partner of Inergy L.P. for $80 million in cash. Prior to the closing of this transaction, Inergy L.P. will distribute to its unitholders all of the 56.4 million common units that it owns in Inergy Midstream.  The closing of Crestwood Holdings' acquisition of the general partner of Inergy L.P. is conditioned upon Inergy L.P.'s special distribution of its Inergy Midstream common units to Inergy L.P. unitholders.  Upon closing of this transaction, Crestwood Holdings will own the general partner, and thus control, of Inergy L.P. 

In the second transaction, which is cross-conditioned with the transaction above and is expected to close simultaneous with the transaction above, Crestwood Holdings will contribute to Inergy L.P. 100% of its interest in Crestwood Gas Services GP LLC, the general partner of Crestwood Midstream that also owns 100% of the incentive distribution rights of Crestwood Midstream, in exchange for 35.1 million common units and 4.4 million subordinated units of Inergy L.P.  Crestwood Holdings has also entered into an agreement that provides that, subject to the closing of the second transaction, Crestwood Holdings will have the option to contribute to Inergy L.P. 7.1 million of the Inergy Midstream common units it receives in the merger described below (or in the event the merger agreement is terminated, 6.7 million Crestwood Midstream Units) in exchange for 14.3 million common units of Inergy L.P., which if exercised would result in it owning approximately 29% of the total common units of Inergy L.P. outstanding.   

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