The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said it would require Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) to sell three natural gas pipelines and other related assets in the Rocky Mountain region in order for the pipeline transportation company to receive approval for its proposed acquisition of El Paso Corp. (EP).
The requirement is part of a settlement resolving charges that Kinder Morgan's acquisition of El Paso would be anticompetitive, the FTC said.
Kinder Morgan agreed to buy El Paso in a cash and stock deal valued at $21.1 billion when announced in October. In March, El Paso shareholders overwhelmingly approved the sale, which would create North America's largest natural-gas pipeline operator.
Kinder Morgan in March also agreed to sell certain Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. (KMP) assets to get FTC approval for the El Paso acquisition.
The FTC said that if Kinder Morgan failed to divest the required assets within 180 days, the proposed order allows the commission to appoint a divestiture trustee to oversee the sale.
In April, Kinder Morgan, which owns Kinder Morgan Energy's general partner, reported sharply lower first-quarter earnings.
Kinder Morgan shares were up 1.2% at $36.34 in recent trading and have climbed 13% this year.
-By Anne Pallivathuckal, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2736; firstname.lastname@example.org