Harbinger Group Enters Natural Gas Venture

Nov 5 2012 | 10:05am ET

Philip Falcone is betting on natural gas.

Harbinger Group, which is controlled by Falcone's hedge fund, has agreed to pay Exco Resources $373 million for a stake in U.S. natural gas fields.

“This deal will create long-term value by anchoring our new energy operating business with a long-duration gas asset at a time when natural gas is trading near historically low levels,” Harbinger Group President Omar Asali said in the statement.

Falcone, who put his wireless internet venture LightSquared into bankruptcy protection earlier this year, apparently likes the odds for a rebound in the natural gas industry.

Under the terms of the deal, Harbinger Group will get roughly 75% of a partnership with Exco. Bloomberg, citing a person with knowledge fo the deal, reports that because the partnership will take on debt, Exco will get also $597.5 million of cash.

The Exco assets in which Falcone is investing include conventional natural gas wells (as opposed to 'unconventional' wells, i.e. those employing techniques like hydraulic fracking) in West Texas, East Texas and Northern Lousiana. The fields involved comprise 520 billion cubic feet equivalent of estimated proved reserves and are about 84% gas, according to the Harbinger Group statement.

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