According to Barron's, energy-transport companies like Kinder Morgan have historically put their pipeline assets into MLPs to garner higher valuations. MLPs, which pass their profits directly to investors, untaxed, typically trade at big premiums to income-producing securities like utilities, telecom companies, and cable-TV operators. Kinder Morgan's new strategy reverses the MLP advantage, raising the question of how the stock should now be valued. The company, headed by co-founder and CEO Rich Kinder, would like investors to value it based on its lofty dividend yield.
Kinder Morgan Inc.'s recent $70 billion consolidation of its Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) runs counter to the industry trend of spinning off pipelines and oil terminals into tax-advantaged partnerships that funnel cash to investors. However, by simplifying its empire's corporate structure, Kinder is lowering borrowing costs, freeing up cash for bigger dividend payouts and unifying the company under a single stock that can be used as currency to buy competitors focused already on building the energy infrastructure of the future.
The move signals a new round of deal making for the pipeline industry, which has seen growth rocket in the past five years as the boom has spread across North America. Potential acquisition targets for firms such as Kinder, Enterprise and Energy Transfer Partners now include more than 120 energy MLPs that have a combined enterprise value of $900 billion. That is set to grow rapidly as less volatile cash payouts that beat debt yields are sought and massive new investments are made in the burgeoning oil and gas fields of Texas, North Dakota and Pennsylvania.
Topics that MLP Investing Conference 2014 will discuss include:
• The REIT syndrome: increasing institutional ownership in the MLP asset class
• The biggest risk: what about if oil prices fell to $80 a barrel and stayed there
• Implications of Kinder Morgan Inc.'s deal to consolidate its energy infrastructure MLPs
• Barbarians at the gate: a new round of deal making for the pipeline industry
MLP Investing Conference 2014 is produced by Golden Networking, the premier networking community for business and technology executives, entrepreneurs and investors. Panelists, speakers and sponsors are invited to contact Golden Networking (http://www.goldennetworking.net) by sending an email to information@