“The new company will continue to have a significant presence in Oklahoma City, Houston and Shreveport, La.,” Alford said. “There's not a great deal of overlap between the partner companies, so, for the majority of employees, there will be little change. ... We'll be initiating an integration process to bring the two companies together. There will be synergies in some areas, and, at the same time, this partnership will create a number of new opportunities for employees.”
Executives plan to seek an initial public offering of the master limited partnership six to 12 months after the close of the transaction.
“We're going to start working on the IPO as soon as we can,” McClanahan said. “Our goal is to meet that shorter time frame, but as you know, it takes a lot of time and effort.”
CenterPoint Energy will have a 59 percent limited partner interest in the master limited partnership, with OGE at 28 percent. ArcLight, which owns almost 20 percent of Enogex, will have a 13 percent stake.
Morningstar analyst Charles Fishman said the master limited partnership fulfills a strategy OGE outlined before the recession hit in late 2007.
“OGE has also been slowly divesting its stake in its pipeline business to ArcLight the past two years, so we believe an MLP is the next natural step for OGE,” Fishman said.
The partnership will have combined assets that include more than 8,400 miles of interstate pipelines with almost 9 billion cubic feet of transport capacity and another 2,300 miles of intrastate pipelines. It also will have 11,000 miles of gathering lines and 11 major processing plants.