Copano Energy Sued by Investor Over Kinder Morgan Deal

Copano Energy LLC, the natural gas processor being bought by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, was sued by an investor who contends stockholders will be shortchanged in the proposed $5 billion takeover.

Copano agreed Jan. 29 to the purchase by Kinder Morgan for about $3.2 billion in stock, plus additional debt, valuing Copano shares at $40.91 each at the time and giving Kinder more access to gas-producing shale basins in Texas and Oklahoma.

“The consideration offered to Copano’s public shareholders in the proposed transaction is unfair and inadequate,” considering “the intrinsic value” of the shares in light of future prospects, Irwin Berlin, with more than 3,000 shares, said in a Delaware Chancery Court suit made public today.

Berlin asked the court to stop the buyout, award group or class-action status and assess unspecified damages. As it stands, Copano investors would receive 0.4563 Kinder Morgan share for each of their shares, according to court papers.

Both companies are based in Houston.

Larry Pierce, a spokesman for Kinder Morgan, declined to comment on the lawsuit in an e-mail. Carl Luna, Copano’s vice president for investor relations, didn’t immediately respond to phone messages seeking comment.

The case is Berlin v. Copano, CA8284, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

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