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On the eve of the Iraq war, Devon Energy Corporation found an easier way to acquire new oil reserves. The Oklahoma City � based producer announced on February 24 that it would buy Houston competitor Ocean Energy, Inc., for $3.5 billion in stock and the assumption of $1.6 billion in debt. The deal would form the largest independent oil and gas producer in the United States, knocking Anadarko Petroleum Corporation out of the top spot. Each Ocean share will be exchanged for 0.414 shares of Devon, which represents a scanty 3 percent premium over the target’s preannouncement price. Devon shareholders, however, are pleased with their company’s thrifty offer. On the day that the deal was announced, Devon’s share price rose 1.9 percent � a notable event, because, in most similar instances, the acquiror’s stock price falls. The deal is expected to close in the second or third quarter. For acquiror Devon Energy Corporation (Oklahoma City) In-house: Senior vice president and general counsel Duke Ligon, senior counsel and managing attorney James Strawn, senior attorney Glen Maynard, and attorney Jennifer Day. Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw (Chicago): M&A: Scott Davis, James Lidbury, and associates William Kucera, D. Michael Murray, and J. Andrew Parker. Tax: Thomas Hood. Employee benefits: Wayne Luepker. Antitrust: Scott Perlman. International competition law: Adrian Steel, Jr. (Hood is in the firm’s New York office; Perlman and Steel are in Washington, D.C.) Mayer, Brown has represented Devon on various matters since the mid-nineties, including the company’s acquisitions of Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. for $3.1 billion and Anderson Exploration Ltd. for $3.5 billion. Duke Ligon was a partner at Mayer, Brown in New York until 1997, when he went in-house at Devon. Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell (Wilmington): Frederick Alexander and Kenneth Nachbar. Mayer, Brown recommended Morris, Nichols to handle the Delaware law work on the deal. For target Ocean Energy, Inc. (Houston) In-house: Executive vice president and general counsel Robert Reeves and vice president and associate general counsel John Patton. Vinson & Elkins (Houston): Corporate: C. Michael Harrington, T. Mark Kelly, David Oelman, and associates Dennis Alan Beck, Jr., Sandra Lee Henson, and Luke Stevens Putman. Tax: John Lynch. Executive compensation and employee benefits: Michael Stuart and of counsel Pamela Stabler. Environmental: Larry Nettles. Vinson & Elkins has represented Ocean Energy and its predecessors, including Seagull Energy Company, since the 1970s. Richards, Layton & Finger (Wilmington): C. Stephen Bigler and associate Michael Allen. Richards, Layton is Ocean’s regular Delaware counsel. � David Marcus

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