Western Refining close to gaining control of Northern Tier - WSJ

Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:46pm EST

Nov 11 (Reuters) - Western Refining Inc is close to buying a controlling stake in Northern Tier Energy LP for about $775 million to capitalize on rising U.S. oil production, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Western Refining would buy a 38.7 percent stake in Northern Tier owned by private equity firms TPG Capital Management and Acon Investments Ltd, the Journal reported.

Under the deal, Western Refining would get 100 percent of the general partner that controls Northern Tier. The deal could be announced on Tuesday, the paper said. ()

Northern Tier Energy's refining business primarily consists of an 89,500-barrels-per-day refinery located in St. Paul Park, Minnesota, near the Bakken Shale deposit.

Higher oil production from U.S. shale formations such as Bakken has pushed refining margins higher for many companies that own plants in the United States.

The Journal said it was not immediately clear how much Western Refining is paying per ownership unit, or share, for Northern Tier.

Northern Tier is structured as a master-limited partnership, a dividend-paying investment vehicle that enjoys special tax breaks and is often used by natural resources companies.

Both companies could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside of regular U.S. business hours.

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