Linn Energy to buy Berry Petroleum for $4.3 billion

US independent hydrocarbon company Linn Energy today said it would buy Berry Petroleum Co in a $4.3-billion all-stock deal including debt, in order to raise production by 30 per cent.

"This transaction creates tremendous value for Linn Energy, LinnCo and Berry equity holders We are pleased to have been able to achieve such a mutually beneficial outcome," said Mark Ellis, chairman, president and CEO of Linn Energy. "

Under the terms of the deal that has been agreed to by the board of both companies, Linn Energy will issue 1.25 common shares for each common share of Berry, a 19.8 per cent premium to the stock's yesterday closing price of $38.59.

Denver-based Berry Petroleum is a publicly traded independent oil and natural gas production and exploitation company with operations in California, Texas, Utah, and Colorado.

The acquisition will give Houston-based Linn Energy more than 200,000 net acres and around 200 producing wells in the West and mid-West containing 75 per cent oil, proven reserves of approximately 1.65 Tcfe and additional probable and possible reserves of approximately 3.8 Tcfe.

The deal will increase Linn's current production by 30 per cent and proven reserves by 34 per cent.

Linn Energy is one of the15 top US independent oil and natural gas development company with a growing portfolio of long-life oil and natural gas assets.