DealZone

Keeping score: Exxon-XTO data points

From the Thomson Reuters data team:

    Exxon Mobil’s $40.7 billion acquisition of XTO Energy ranks as the sixth biggest announced worldwide M&A transaction this year and the fourth biggest US target transaction. The deal ranks as the eighth biggest Energy & Power M&A transaction in history and marks the biggest US transaction since Chevron’s $43.3 billion acquisition of Texaco in October 2000.  The $85.1 billion combination of Exxon and Mobil in December 1998 ranks as the biggest Energy & Power deal on record. Worldwide, energy & power M&A totals $330.9 billion for year-to-date 2009, an 18.1% decrease from last year at this time.  Worldwide M&A in the oil & gas sector totals $203.7 billion, a 17.2% increase over last year at this time. In the US, energy & power M&A accounts for 12.2% of overall activity, a 7.5 decline from last year.  Oil & gas M&A activity in the US totals $74.9 billion, a 35.6% increase over 2008. With the announcement, JP Morgan (advisor to Exxon Mobil), moves from fourth place to third place for worldwide merger advisors, with $467.5 billion in announced deals from 299 deals. Barclays and Jefferies (advisors to XTO Energy) rank 10th and 21st, respectively. In the US, JP Morgan remains in third place with $269.5 billion.  Barclays moves to sixth place from seventh and Jefferies moves from 23rd place to 13th.

Exxon Mobil gasses up

Talk about throwing your weight around. Exxon’s $30 billion all-stock bid for XTO Energy puts a pretty solid stamp on the natural gas space. It also puts Exxon in a better position to capitalize on energy generation, rather than just heating houses and keeping SUV’s guzzlin’.

The world’s largest publicly traded company lit a fuse that has long tantalized M&A markets. The whole natural gas sector jumped on the news, as expectations grew that an elephantine stampede from big oil was underway. Among the gas names that went bang: Chesapeake Energy jumped 7 percent, Devon Energy Corp rose 5.3 percent, and Canada’s EnCana rose as much as 8.7 percent.

U.S. natural gas prices have been under pressure with inventories of the fuel not far from record high levels. But with the winter winds of change blowing through the world’s increasingly environmentally aware corridors of power, as well as the always heat-hungry U.S. Northeast getting deeper into the snow season, the market for natural gas plays may well have started to look overripe.