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Kinder Morgan to buy El Paso for $38 billion (NG)* *PIC*

Kinder Morgan to buy El Paso for $38 billion ( KMI EP EPB ) (by Christopher Hinton)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Kinder Morgan (kmi) said Sunday it would buy natural gas provider El Paso Corp. (ep) for $38 billion, including assumption of debt. The deal values El Paso at $26.87 a share, a 47% premium to the stock's 20-day average closing price and 37% above where it closed Friday, Kinder Morgan said. The combined enterprise will create the largest natural gas pipeline network in the U.S. with 80,000 miles of pipeline and an enterprise value of $94 billion. The transaction has been approved by each company's board of directors and is expected to be immediately accretive, Kinder Morgan said. The deal is scheduled to close in the second quarter.