What: Shares of Sunoco LP (NYSE:SUN) slumped 12% in the month of July. The master limited partnership that is majority-owned by Energy Transfer Partners announced a debt note offering with net proceeds of $592.5 million on July 15, which was responsible for most of the monthly drop.
So what: While Mr. Market sold the idea of taking on more debt, Sunoco LP was up front about its intentions: The company wanted to acquire 100% of Susser Holding Corporation from Energy Transfer Partners. Susser owns roughly 680 convenience stores in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico and is the largest independent convenience store operator in Texas based on store count and fuel volumes sold.
The acquisition closed on July 31 with a total price tag of $1.93 billion, which included $967 million in cash and 22 million new Sunoco LP shares. Susser isn't expected to make a major contribution to Sunoco LP this year, but should have "significant" effects on distributable cash flow beginning in 2016. In other words, investors could expect the acquisition to result in increased payouts in the near future.
Now what: It's understandable that Sunoco LP stock was punished for taking on debt and up-front dilution. Having debt means a company needs to make debt payments, which means less money to return to owners of the MLP. However, the acquisition will significantly increase its long-term value and earnings power beginning in 2016. The risks and rewards of owning an MLP are a bit different than those of owning a traditional equity, so be sure you understand how you're affected and whether the new financials meet your comfort levels.