Quarterly earnings numbers weren't the only thing investors in Spectra Energy (NYSE:SE) and Spectra Energy Partners (NYSE:SEP) were greeted with yesterday morning. In tandem with the release, management announced a significant deal between the two in which Spectra Energy will drop down a considerable amount of assets to Spectra Energy Partners. In return, Spectra Energy will be receiving a blend of cash, equity, and a large chunk of debt taken off its books. 

These types of transactions highlight the unique relationship between a parent and its MLP subsidiary. Deals such as these free up the parent to pursue larger growth opportunities without forcing it to sell assets completely. Yes, Spectra Energy is no longer running its storage and transmission business, but it will continue receiving distributions from its cash flow through its ownership stake in Spectra Energy. Motley Fool analyst Taylor Muckerman covers this deal and its effect on shareholders in the video below.