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13

Shell To Buy Canadian Gas Producer

Duvernay shareholders will get $82.59 for each of their shares, a 42 percent premium over the closing price on Friday

Royal Dutch Shell is to buy Duvernay Oil Corp. for $5.2 billion to expand gas production from hard-to-tap formations in western Canada.

Duvernay shareholders will get $82.59 for each of their shares, a 42 percent premium over the closing price on Friday. Shell also will assume Duvernay's debt, which was over $500 million as of March 31, according to a company filing.

The premium "is quite substantial," said Dirk Hoozemans, who helps manage the equivalent of about $23.8 billion at Rotterdam-based Robeco Group. "Probably Shell wanted to address its North American gas position with the acquisition."

Shell, in the year's biggest oil and gas deal, is paying the equivalent of about $9.10 per thousand cubic feet of proved natural-gas reserves, according to Bloomberg data. That's more than double the price offered last month by XTO Energy in its proposed $4 billion takeover of Hunt Petroleum Corp.