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April 27, 2009 5:57 PM

Wachtell, Jones Day, K&L Gates Advise on Atlas Mergers

Posted by Brian Baxter

Appalachians

Independent energy company Atlas America and Atlas Energy Resources announced on Monday a merger plan that would allow both companies to better position themselves to tap one of the nation's largest natural gas reserves. The new entity, to be renamed Atlas Energy, will have a combined market capitalization of nearly $1.5 billion.

Suburban Pittsburgh-based Atlas America, which focuses on extracting natural gas, oil, and other energy assets primarily in the Appalachians, already owns approximately 48 percent of Atlas Energy Resources. The merger will make Atlas Energy a wholly owned Atlas America subsidiary.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz M&A partners Adam Emmerich, Mark Gordon, and David Lam, antitrust partner Nelson Fitts, executive compensation partner Michael Segal, litigation partners Rachelle Silverberg and Jonathan Moses, restructuring and finance partner Philip Mindlin, tax partners David Einhorn and Joshua Holmes, tax counsel Michele Alexander, and associates Rachel Wilson, Sebastian Fain, Michael Krasnovsky, Vincent Levy, and Joshua Feltman advised Atlas America.

Jones Day M&A partners Jeffrey Schlegel, Lyle Ganske, and Peter Izanec, finance partner Rachel Rawson, tax partners Todd Wallace and Lester Droller, employee benefits partner Gary Short, and associates James Vallee, Anna Ha, and Julie Gremillion advised Atlas Energy Resources.

A special committee to the board of directors of Atlas Energy Resources, also based in suburban Pittsburgh, was advised by K&L Gates partners Michael McLean and Ronald West.

The deal still requires the approval of shareholders and the boards of directors of both companies. If the merger is approved, the new company will focus much of its effort on gaining access to untapped natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale Formation, a huge swath of sedimentary rock in the Appalachian Basin thought to be a potential gold mine for energy development.

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