A Kohlberg Kravis Roberts-led consortium has announced a deal to acquire most of Samson Investment for $7.2 billion. In total the deal will include around $4 billion in equity from the four investors, KKR (60% stake), ITOCHU (25% stake), NGP Energy Capital Management (15% stake) and Crestview Partners (15% stake). As well as roughly $4.5 billion of financing from 11 banks in total. The investment was made on the thesis of the potential and transition of increased energy production in shale and other unconventional sources.
The Samson deal represents the largest company buyout of the year and the second largest PE transaction of the year, behind The Blackstone Group's Centro Properties $9 billion real estate deal. In total there have been 33 U.S. private equity deals over $1 billion so far in 2011, according to the PitchBook Platform. The need to put capital to work and the returned availability of debt financing for large deals has clearly caused an increase in billion dollar deals.