Rice shareholders will receive 0.37 shares of EQT common stock and $5.30 in cash per share of Rice common stock they own. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter this year.
"Since the beginning of 2016, we have added more than 485,000 acres to our development portfolio and have achieved significant scale in the core of the Marcellus. We will now shift our focus from acquisitions to integration as we work to drive higher capital efficiency through longer laterals," EQT CEO Steve Schlotterbeck said.
"This is a terrific deal," TheStreet's Jim Cramer, manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said on CNBC's "Mad Dash" segment. "It's a very smart deal," he added, explaining that Rice will help make EQT plenty of money down the road.
EQT gains 187,000 acres in the Marcellus shale and 65,000 acres in the Utica shale, he pointed out.
EQT gains a bevy of natural gas production at a very attractive price compared to where natural gas prices are currently trading. As coal plants continue to diminish and as power plants are relying more and more on natural gas, this will help give EQT the boost it needs.
While Cramer thought consolidation in the energy sector would come more in the form of oil companies, he does not suspect this will be a "one off" transaction in the natural gas industry.
What's Hot on TheStreet
All eyes on Apple this week: Apple's (AAPL) stock will be on the minds of Wall Street bit more than the norm this week. Shares of the tech giant have fallen 6.9% since the Nasdaq's peak on June 8 amid a broader selloff in tech. Not helping near-term sentiment on the company are two rare analyst downgrades that have questioned how big a seller the iPhone 8 will be.
But investors shouldn't be ready to throw in the towel on Apple by any stretch of the imagination.
"When you have these sellers come in, all you have to do is wait them out -- and one of the things I learned as a hedge fund manager is that patience is a true virtue," TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer, who also manages the Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio, said on Apple's recent slide.
After the deal was announced on Friday, U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) urged the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a review on the merger's legality and possible harm to the economy.
"I am concerned about what this deal means for suppliers and neighborhood grocery stores," Khanna said in a statement. "The Justice Department and FTC must undertake a review that considers not just the merger's impact on prices, but also the impact on jobs and wages. We need to reorient antitrust policy to factor in the harm that economic concentration causes for American workers."
Meanwhile, Whole Foods shares are trading above Amazon's offer price as to suggest a bidding war may ensue.
Updated from 9:03 a.m. to include Jim Cramer's comments.