Warwick Capital Partners and GRP Energy Capital agreed Tuesday to sell mineral and royalty interests in various oil and gas basins to Midland-based Viper Energy Partners, a subsidiary of Diamondback Energy Inc., for $1 billion.
Viper is issuing 9.02 million shares as part of the deal. The company expects to finance the $750 million cash portion with money on hand, borrowings under its credit facility and up to $200 million of committed equity from Diamondback as well as proceeds from one or more capital markets transactions, including a potential bond offering subject to market conditions and other factors.
Evercore advised Viper and Barclays assisted London-based Warwick and Dallas-based GRP.
Capital markets partners Matt Pacey and Noah Allen also pitched in along with tax partners David Wheat and Joe Tobias and associate David Gilbert and environmental transactions partner Jon Kidwell and associate Max Anderson.
Also advising were tax partners Alison Chen and Julia Pashin and corporate counsel Dasha Hodge; corporate senior counsel Irina Maistrenko and associates Madeline Sullivan and Thomas Shattuck; tax counsel Aaron Vera; and environment and natural resources practice head David Quigley and senior counsel Andrew Oelz.
The deal is somewhat of a departure from Viper’s strategy of acquiring minerals ahead of the Diamondback drill-bit, Piper Sandler analyst Mark Lear wrote in a note Wednesday.
“Discussion with management stressed the quality of the assets acquired, particularly in the Midland, and why this was the deal for Viper after nearly a two-year deal hiatus,” he said.
TPH analyst Jeoffrey Lambujon likes the transaction for Viper as it increases its footprint in the Permian Basin with acreage additions under active quality operators. They include Pioneer Natural Resources, Endeavor, Diamondback, Ovintiv and Chevron in the Midland portion and Occidental Petroleum, Deven, Permian Resources, ConocoPhillips and Diamondback in the Delaware portion.
“We like the deal alignment with VNOM’s [Viper’s] strategy,” he said.
Travis Stice, CEO of Viper’s general partner, said in the release that the acquisition of high quality mineral and royalty assets represents a significant value proposition for Viper and its unitholders.
“What truly differentiates this opportunity … is both the quantity and quality of the undeveloped acreage position,” he said. “Credit is due to the GRP Energy Capital team for building an asset of this size, scale and overall quality that cannot be replicated in the private minerals market today.”
Viper will end up owning roughly 32,000 net royalty acres in the Permian Basin, Tice added.
“The mineral market remains highly fragmented and Viper plans to play a meaningful role in consolidating this market as high value proposition opportunities present themselves,” he said.