U.S. energy private equity firm Riverstone Investment Group has agreed to acquire a 50 percent interest in the Utopia Pipeline Project. No financial terms were released. The Utopia Project is focused on constructing a pipeline that transports ethane supply in Ohio to petrochemical companies in the Sarnia-Lambton region of Ontario. Riverstone is buying the stake from Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE: KMI), which is partnering with Calgary-based Nova Chemicals Corp in the US$500 million project. Along with acquiring existing assets, Riverstone has agreed to contribute to expenditures necessary for the project’s construction and commissioning.
Kinder Morgan Sells 50% Equity Interest in Utopia Pipeline Project to Riverstone Investment Group
Pipeline to Serve as Critical Outlet for Utica Ethane to Growing Petchem Market
June 28, 2016
HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI) announced today that Riverstone Investment Group LLC (Riverstone) will become a 50 percent partner in the Utopia Pipeline Project. To acquire its ownership interest, Riverstone agreed to an upfront cash payment provided at closing, consisting of reimbursement to KMI for its 50 percent share of prior capital expenditures related to the project and a payment in excess of capital expenditures to recognize the value created by KMI in developing the project to this stage.
In addition to the acquisition of the existing assets, Riverstone has agreed to fund its share of future capital expenditures necessary to complete construction and commissioning of the pipeline project. The total project cost is estimated to be approximately $500 million (excluding capitalized interest).
“The Utopia pipeline will connect growing ethane supply sources in Ohio to the expanding petrochemical market in Sarnia,” said Don Lindley, president of KMI’s Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), Products Pipelines. “We are excited to welcome Riverstone as a partner in the Utopia project.” The project is supported by a long-term contract with Nova Chemicals Corporation.
“This is another step towards achieving our stated goals of strengthening our balance sheet and positioning the company for long-term value creation,” said Steve Kean, Kinder Morgan president and chief executive officer. “This agreement also demonstrates our ability to originate projects with attractive returns that partners are willing to pay to participate and invest in.”
Baran Tekkora, Partner at Riverstone, said, “The principals of Kinder Morgan and Riverstone have a long history of working together and we are happy to be partners again. Kinder Morgan has a proven management team with strong project development, commercial, and operational expertise. We look forward to Utopia being a successful project and believe it will lead to other strategic partnerships on future projects.”
The Utopia Pipeline is a common carrier project that will include approximately 215 miles of new, 12-inch diameter pipeline constructed entirely within the state of Ohio from Harrison County to Fulton County. The pipeline will connect with an existing Kinder Morgan pipeline and associated facilities in order to transport ethane and ethane-propane mixtures to petrochemical companies operating in Ontario, Canada, for use as a feedstock in the production of plastics that will ultimately be made into automotive parts, bottles, containers, home furnishings and other common plastic products. These products will be distributed to manufacturers, businesses and homes throughout the Great Lakes region.
Credit Suisse acted as the exclusive financial advisor to KMI during this transaction.
Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI) is the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. It owns an interest in or operates approximately 84,000 miles of pipelines and approximately 180 terminals. The company’s pipelines transport natural gas, gasoline, crude oil, CO2 and other products, and its terminals store petroleum products and chemicals, and handle bulk materials like coal and petroleum coke. For more information please visit www.kindermorgan.com.
Riverstone is a global energy and power-focused private equity firm founded in 2000 by David M. Leuschen and Pierre F. Lapeyre with over $34 billion of capital raised. Riverstone conducts buyouts and makes growth capital investments in the midstream, exploration and production, oilfield services, power and renewable sectors of the energy industry. With offices in New York, London, Houston and Mexico City, the firm has committed over $31 billion to more than 120 investments in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia. More information about Riverstone can be accessed at www.riverstonellc.com.
Important Information Relating to Forward-Looking Statements
This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. Generally the words “expects,” “believes,” anticipates,” “plans,” “will,” “shall,” “estimates,” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, which are generally not historical in nature. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and are based on the beliefs and assumptions of management, based on information currently available to them. Although Kinder Morgan believes that these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that any such forward-looking statements will materialize. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied from these forward-looking statements include the risks and uncertainties described in Kinder Morgan’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year-ended December 31, 2015 (under the headings “Risk Factors” and “Information Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and elsewhere) and its subsequent reports, which are available through the SEC’s EDGAR system at www.sec.gov and on our website at ir.kindermorgan.com. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they were made, and except to the extent required by law, Kinder Morgan undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement because of new information, future events or other factors. Because of these risks and uncertainties, readers should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
Kinder Morgan Contacts
Dave Conover, (713) 369-9407
Kekst and Company
Jeffrey Taufield, (212) 521-4800
Photo courtesy of Reuters/Ben Nelms