Athlon Energy Inc. acquired in $7.1 billion deal

The latest development in a surge in acquisitions in the Texas energy industry was announced today, with Canadian developer Encana Corp. agreeing to purchase Texas-based Athlon Energy Inc..

Encana will pay a total of $7.1 billion in cash and notes, and gain the ability to significantly expand into liquids production, The Financial Post reports. It will also assume approximately $1.15 billion in long-term debt as part of the agreement. 

"This transformative acquisition further accelerates our strategy and provides us with a prime position in what is widely acknowledged as one of North America's top oil plays," Encana President Doug Suttles said in a statement.

The purchase will allow Encana a crucial foothold in the Permian Basin, in which it plans to invest about $1 billion in new holdings next year, the source reports. The organization announced plans to operate at least seven new horizontal rigs in the region by the end of 2015, a significant addition to the three it currently operates.

Suttles released the organization's new goal of reaching 250,000 barrels per day (bbls/d) by 2017 in the announcement of the purchase. "Our portfolio now aligns with our vision of being a leading North American resource play company. Our growth areas now include the top two resource plays in Canada, the Montney and Duvernay, and the top two resource plays in Texas, the Eagle Ford and the Permian," he remarked.

With such lofty goals, it is important that productivity is maintained throughout the transition process. Unfortunately, periods of change can often lead to resistance from employees, especially when the new organization's goals are not made clear. Change management consulting is an effective means of avoiding these common pitfalls.