Apollo in Talks to Buy El Paso Unit

Indian energy giant Reliance Industries is among companies in talks to buy the exploration and production (E&P) unit of US pipeline company El Paso Corp, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed people with knowledge about the matter, reports Reuters. Private equity firm Apollo is among the other companies in talks for the unit, which is estimated to be worth $8.1 billion by analysts at BNP Paribas, it said, writes Reuters.

(Reuters) – Indian energy major Reliance Industries Ltd is among companies in talks to buy the exploration and production (E&P)unit of U.S. pipeline company El Paso Corp, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed people with knowledge about the matter.

Private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC is among the other companies in talks for the unit, which is estimated to be worth $8.1 billion by analysts at BNP Paribas, it said.

U.S. regulators last month made a second request for information about Kinder Morgan Inc’s planned $21 billion takeover of El Paso, first announced in October, in a deal that will combine the two largest natural gas pipeline companies.

As part of the deal, Kinder plans to sell El Paso’s E&P assets to help finance the acquisition. The deal is expected to close by the second quarter of 2012.

Reliance is yet to decide whether to make a bid for the unit, Bloomberg reported.

A Reliance spokesman said the company does not comment on speculation. Officials for Kinder Morgan and El Paso could not be immediately reached.

Last month, a senior Reliance executive told Reuters the company is scouting for oil investments in the Americas as it looks to boost the share of its crude production to feed its huge refinery in western India.

The company, which the market values at $44.5 billion, already owns stakes in three shale gas ventures in the United States.