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In its latest large divestiture, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. tapped Latham & Watkins for the pending $2.3 billion sale of its Eagle Ford Shale assets in South Texas to Houston-based Sanchez Energy Corp. and private equity giant The Blackstone Group.

Kirkland & Ellis is advising Sanchez and Blackstone, and Sanchez also turned to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Anadarko, an independent exploration and production company based in The Woodlands, is selling off shale assets as it focuses operations elsewhere including the Delaware Basin, the DJ Basin and deepwater Gulf of Mexico. In other recent deals, Anadarko announced in December 2016 it would sell assets in the Marcellus Shale in north-central Pennsylvania for about $1.24 billion to Alta Marcellus, a subsidiary of Houston-based Alta Resources Development. In November, Castleton Commodities announced a deal to buy oil and gas assets in East Texas from Anadarko for more than $1 billion. 

Anadarko’s asset sale to Sanchez and Blackstone is expected to close during the first quarter of the year, subject to customary closing conditions. While the company is divesting its shale drilling assets, Anadarko will continue to own and operate midstream assets in South Texas through its sponsored master limited partnership, Western Gas Partners.

The Houston-based Latham team representing Anadarko is led by partner Robin Fredrickson and associates James Robertson, Michael Sellner and Corey Allen. Also, partner Tim Fenn and associate James Cole are providing tax advice, and partner Catherine Ozdogan and associate Christina Stegemoller are doing finance work. 

Kirkland advised Blackstone on the 50/50 joint venture it created with Sanchez for the transaction, and also represented Sanchez and Blackstone on the acquisition, and Sanchez on the financing.

The Kirkland team representing Blackstone on the joint venture is led by corporate partners Andrew Calder, Rhett Van Syoc, Bradford Rossi and Cody Carper, all of Houston, and Scott Gordon of New York. Others on the deal include environmental transactions partners Paul Tanaka of San Francisco and Houston and Stefanie Gitler of San Francisco; tax partners Chad McCormick and Zackary Pullin of Houston; debt financing partner Andy Veit of Houston; and Houston capital markets partner Justin Hoffman.

The Kirkland team representing Sanchez on the financing is led by corporate partners Calder and John Pitts, both of Houston, and partner Jeffrey O’Connor of Chicago. Also advising: tax partner Russell Light of New York; capital markets partner Matt Pacey of Houston; and debt finance partners William Bos and Mary Kogut of Houston and Erik Hepler of New York.

For the acquisition itself, the Kirkland team representing Blackstone and Sanchez is led by corporate partners Anthony Speier and Rahul Vashi, all of Houston. The team also includes tax partners Thomas Evans and Polina Liberman, both of Chicago; environmental transactions partner Jonathan Kidwell of Washington, D.C.; antitrust partners Ellen Jakovic of Washington, D.C. and Michael Thorpe of Chicago; labor and employment partner Richard Kidd of New York; employee benefits partner Melissa Grim of Chicago; and debt finance partners Bos and Kogut. 

At Akin Gump, Houston partner David Elder leads the firm’s team. Others include Houston partners Patrick Hurley, Michael Byrd and Eric Munoz.

Baker Botts partner Hillary Holmes represents Intrepid Partners, the financial advisor to the Sanchez board of directors.

Andrews Kurth Kenyon represents GSO Capital Partners LP, a credit investment platform of Blackstone and financial partner to Sanchez on the deal. The transaction team includes partners Mike O’Leary, Hal Haltom, Jon Daly, Allison Mantor and Rob Taylor, all of Houston, and Chris Richardson of Houston and Dubai; and associates Jennie Miller, Jerry Chandapillai and Ming Lei, all of Houston, and Ashley Muehlberger of Houston and Dubai.