Cases & Deals

Samson Investment to be acquired by KKR-led investor group for $7.2 billion in largest U.S. private equity transaction of 2011

Client(s) Samson Investment Company

Jones Day advised Samson Investment Company, one of the largest private exploration and production companies in the U.S., in its $7.2 billion acquisition by an investor group. The investor group, consisting of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), Natural Gas Partners, Crestview Partners, and Itochu Corporation, will acquire all of Samson's assets from its owners the Schusterman family, with the exception of Samson's onshore Gulf Coast and offshore deep water Gulf of Mexico assets, which will be transferred to a family-owned entity prior to closing. The transaction represents the largest U.S. private equity transaction of 2011 and is reported to be the largest leveraged buy-out of an oil and gas exploration and production company in history.

Prior to selecting KKR, the family conducted a limited sale process. A key consideration in defining the pool of prospective purchasers was the family's requirement that Samson remain a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based business. In the negotiation and documentation process, KKR agreed to maintain the company in Tulsa and to retain Samson's employees, other than certain employees that will be transferred to the family-owned entity that will operate and develop the spun-off Gulf Coast and Gulf of Mexico properties. The investor group's current plan is to continue to expand Samson's operations and to take it public at some point in the future.

In addition to M&A representation, Jones Day provided energy regulatory, finance, antitrust, tax, and employee benefits advice regarding this transaction.