Devon Energy to Sell "Non-Core" Canadian Assets for $2.8 Billion

Three months after inking a $6 billion all-cash deal to acquire 82,000 net acres in the Eagle Ford oil play in Texas, Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN  ) announced today it has sold the majority of its "non-core" Canadian assets to Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE: CNQ  ) for $2.8 billion. Devon's Horn River, Lloydminster, and thermal heavy oil resources are excluded from the deal.

After repatriating the proceeds of today's sale, which is expected to close in the second quarter, Devon said it should net approximately $2.7 billion from the transaction. The company said that net proceed will be used to pay down debt associated with its Eagle Ford acquisition. The Eagle Ford deal, according to Devon, is on track to close this quarter.

According to today's impressive fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 earnings report, Devon has $6.1 billion in cash and equivalents on its balance sheet as of Dec. 31, 2013. Also, to help fund the Eagle Ford deal, Devon said it issued a total of $2.25 billion in short-term senior notes in December of last year, in two-, three-, and five-year issuances, and agreed to a $2 billion senior term loan, which it has yet to drawn upon.

Commenting on today's asset sale, Devon President and CEO John Richels said, "This tax-efficient transaction provides for a clean exit from our Canadian conventional business at a value of nearly 7 times 2013 EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization], a substantial premium compared to Devon's current trading multiple." By comparison, Devon paid approximately two and a half times 2015 EBITDA for the Eagle Ford assets.

The assets Canadian Natural Resources will gain in the transaction are located near its existing operations in western Canada, and include estimated natural gas production of 383 million cubic feet per day, 10,800 barrels of light crude oil per day, and 12,000 barrels a day of natural gas liquids (NGLs). The deal also includes six natural gas plants, four operating oil batteries, and royalty revenue expected to generate $75 million in 2014. Added to its existing royalties, Canadian Resources now expects $140 million to $150 million in royalty cash flows this year.

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