Deal-making in the sector has been on the rise as a vaccination-led recovery in demand has boosted oil and gas prices after one of the worst energy downturns in history.
Both Independence, built and managed by private equity KKR's Energy Real Assets team, and Contango have producing assets across the Rockies in Colarado, Permian in Texas and Mid-Continent basins.
Independence shareholders will own about 76% and Contango investors will own the rest of the combined company after the deal, which is expected to close in 3Q21 or early 4Q21.
The new company is expected to produce 108 000 to 114 000 boe/d in 2022, with adjusted core earnings between US$750 million and US$800 million.
Based on Contango's closing price on Monday, the combined company will have an initial equity market capitalisation of about US$4.8 billion.
The combined business will be managed by KKR's Energy Real Assets team and David Rockecharlie, head of KKR Energy Real Assets, will serve as the chief executive.
Contango's chairman and largest shareholder, John Goff, will be the chairman of the combined company, which will be headquartered in Houston.
It expects to operate under a new name and a new ticker symbol and plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange.
KKR will receive a special class of non-economic preferred stock that provides it with the authority to appoint all board members as well as some consent rights over actions such as debt incurrence, officer changes, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.
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