Sale of Kerr-McGee completed

By Adam Wilmoth Published: August 11, 2006
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Anadarko Petroleum Corp. completed its $18 billion purchase of Oklahoma City-based Kerr-McGee Corp. on Thursday, just hours after Kerr-McGee shareholders approved the deal.

Q&A with Elizabeth Milam

More than 76 percent of the Oklahoma City company's stockholders voted in favor of the plan that will move the 77-year-old Oklahoma City company to the Houston area while giving the company's shareholders a healthy return on their investment. Anadarko shareholders did not have to approve the purchase because it was an all-cash deal.

Kerr-McGee's last shareholders' meeting was completed in just less than eight minutes, including Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Luke Corbett's emotional farewell speech to employees. Nearly 173 million of the almost 175 million shares voted were cast in favor of the purchase. About 54.7 million shares were not voted.

"I know that the emotions of today are running pretty high," Corbett said during the meeting. "They are for me. But I want you to leave your company with your heads up high. It's amazing what you folks have accomplished in a few short years."

It is still unclear what will happen to the just more than 200 Kerr-McGee employees in Oklahoma City. Anadarko has made it clear the new company's headquarters will be at Anadarko's home in The Woodlands, Texas. It has been widely speculated that the corporate jobs in Oklahoma City are most at risk.

Anadarko spokeswoman Susan Richardson said it is still unclear what will happen to local employees or when a decision would be made.

The Kerr-McGee purchase is part of a more than $23 billion deal that includes assumption of debt. Anadarko also has agreed to buy Denver-based Western Gas Resources for $4.74 billion, plus $560 million in debt. Western Gas shareholders will vote Aug. 23 on that deal.

Anadarko has said it will sell $10 billion worth of assets from the three companies, but Richardson said it is still unclear exactly which properties will be sold.

Thursday's Kerr-McGee shareholders' meeting drew more than 100 shareholders, most of whom were retirees or employees. Retiree Ken Collins said it was difficult to think about Kerr-McGee leaving the community.

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