Coastal to Bid for Natural Gas Pipeline Firm

From Reuters

Coastal Corp. said Friday night that it will begin an unfriendly takeover attempt of American Natural Resources Co. on Monday in a deal that would be worth about $3.2 billion.

Coastal, a Houston-based energy company, said it would make a tender offer of $60 a share for each of American Natural Resource's 37.8 million shares.

The company, in a statement, said the offer will begin Monday and would not be conditioned on any minimum number of shares being tendered.

The announcement confirmed rumors recently on Wall Street that Coastal was eyeing one of several natural gas pipeline companies.

Apparently expecting the worst, American Natural Resources said Thursday that it was spinning off its oil and gas reserves into a publicly traded limited partnership. Experts on Wall Street saw this as a way to defuse a potential takeover threat.

American Natural Resources stock has risen sharply over the past few weeks because of the takeover speculation. It closed Friday at $53.75, up $4.125.

Sources said the brokerage firm of Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. was helping Coastal with its offer and had been scouring Wall Street this week for funds to be used by Coastal.

Last year, Coastal unsuccessfully attempted to acquire Houston Natural Gas Corp., a battle that ended in a stalemate, with both companies eventually agreeing to cease tender offers for each other.

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