Forbes: Merger of Pipeline Giants Driven by Fear, Not Greed

From Forbes:
The collapse in oil prices has hammered energy stocks, but it isn’t slowing large merger and acquisition activity among companies that are building the infrastructure to serve North American shale drillers. 
Pipeline giants Energy Transfer Partners and Regency Energy Partners said on Monday they will merge in a $18 billion cash and stock deal that will create the second largest energy infrastructure company in the U.S., with significant exposure to promising shale deposits in Texas such as the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford, and the Marcellus and Utica shales of Appalachia. 
The deal also is a direct response to a dramatic tumble oil prices and its potential impact on the finances of both companies. 
“In light of the current volatility in commodity prices and the changes in the capital markets, it became apparent over the last several months that Regency needed more scale and diversification, along with an investment grade balance sheet, to continue its growth,” Mike Bradley, CEO of Regency said in a statement. 
“As a result, the combination with ETP became a logical transaction, as we believe that this merger will create significant immediate and long-term value for our unitholders. 
The merger will also allow Regency and ETP to consolidate our complementary midstream operations in the Permian and West Texas areas. The ability to bring those operations together under one roof is expected to create tremendous value for the unitholders of the combined partnerships,” Bradley added.
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