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.