Atlas Energy to Form Master-Limited Partnership to Acquire Wells

Atlas Energy LP, the natural-gas explorer that sold Pennsylvania prospects to Chevron Corp. earlier this year, will separate its exploration and production business, helping it to acquire wells from other producers.

The new entity, to be known as Atlas Resource Partners LP, will be a master-limited partnership, a corporate structure that allows unitholders to share in profits through quarterly distributions, Moon Township, Pennsylvania-based Atlas Energy said in a statement today.

The separation “will enable Atlas Resource Partners to expand cash flows from its natural-gas and oil production assets through strategic acquisitions and organic development,” the company said.

Atlas will distribute units representing about 19.6 percent interest in the exploration and production unit to its shareholders. It will hold about 78.4 percent of the unit and own the general partner.

The unit will hold assets in Appalachia, the Niobrara formation in Colorado and shale properties in Michigan, Indiana and Tennessee.

Citigroup Inc. is the lead financial adviser and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is the legal adviser, Atlas Energy said.

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