Mergers and acquisitions involving unconventional assets contributed to increased number of deals and total deal value during the first quarter 2013 compared with the same period last year, PwC US reported.
Transactions involving unconventional properties accounted for 46% of total first-quarter volume, said PwC’s transaction services division.
For the quarter ended Mar. 31, PwC reported a total of 39 oil and gas deals with values greater than $50 million, accounting for $27 billion. That compared with 34 deals worth $25.7 billion in the first quarter of 2012.
Rick Roberge, principal in PwC’s energy deals practice, said non-US buyers “are still looking for opportunities to expand in US shale plays and are extremely active in upstream prospects—and they’re willing to acquire those assets at a premium.”
Non-US buyers announced nine deals in the first quarter 2013, which contributed $4.1 billion, compared with six deals valued at $5.9 billion during the same period last year.
Private-equity involved in oil and gas transactions slowed during the first quarter but PwC expects that it will pick up again, PwC said in its separate outlook entitled The US Energy Revolution: The role of private equity in oil and gas.
During the first quarter 2013, only two transactions with values greater than $50 million involved private equity. Those two represented total deal value of $576 million compared with 7 private equity deals worth $13 billion in the first quarter 2012.
PwC reported 18 shale-related deals having values greater than $50 million during first quarter 2013. Those deals totaled $16.3 billion. Accounting for smaller deals as well, there were 11 unconventional transactions total accounting for $5 billion in the quarter.
Recent unconventional deals included three transactions involving the Marcellus shale totaling $882 million and two Utica shale deals totaling $283 million.
“The main story in the first quarter of the year continues to be about shale. We’re seeing interest in both the Marcellus and Utica, and we don’t expect to see that enthusiasm dissipate anytime soon,” said Steve Haffner of PwC’s energy practice in Pittsburgh.
“While that interest hasn’t translated to a dramatic increase in the volume and value of shale deals in the region, potential buyers are seeking the right opportunities to establish their footprint in the area— or to expand—and that includes both private equity and foreign buyers.”
The most active shale plays for M&A with values greater than $50 million during the first quarter of 2013 include the Eagle Ford in South Texas with five total transactions representing $5.1 billion, followed by the Marcellus shale, the Utica shale, and then the Bakken formation in North Dakota with one deal totaling $513 million.
PwC’s Oil & Gas M&A analysis is a quarterly report of announced U.S. transactions with values greater than $50 million analyzed by PwC using transaction data from IHS Herold.
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