(MENAFN) Texas-based El Paso Corp. sold its oil and gas exploration and production business to an investor group for USD7.15 billion, AP reported.
The company said it sold its affiliate EP Energy Corp. to affiliates of Apollo Global Management LLC, Riverstone Holdings LLC and Access Industries Inc., among others. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.
The transaction is subject to the closing of Houston pipeline company Kinder Morgan Inc.'s proposed acquisition of El Paso for USD20.7 billion.
Kinder Morgan said it will use most of the proceeds of the EP Energy sale to pay down debt it has taken on to fund the El Paso acquisition.
Buying El Paso will more than double size Kinder Morgan's pipeline network, as the new pipeline system will stretch 80,000 miles.
Kinder Morgan's pipelines in the Rocky Mountains, the Midwest and Texas will be woven together with El Paso's expansive network that spreads east from the Gulf Coast to New England, and to the west through New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California.