The Hunt family has sold the company founded by legendary oilman Haroldson L Hunt Jr ("HL") to rival XTO Energy for $4.186 billion. The deal includes $2.6 billion in cash and 23.5 million shares of XTO common stock valued at approximately $1.6 billion.
Describing the acquisition as "a defining moment" for his company, XTO chairman and CEO Bob R Simpson went on to say that the process was initiated by the boards of directors of Hunt Petroleum and the Hassie Companies at the end of last year.
It seems clear that there is no room for the Hunt family following the sale. "Hunt Petroleum is an 80-year-old, private franchise founded on long-lived legacy properties," said Simpson.
"All told, these legacy properties were discovered, acquired and developed over many decades. They have yielded robust production, reserves and income for private family interests. Now in XTO's hands, we plan to accelerate the activities and know that the assets will achieve even more."
Hunt Petroleum is owned by the Haroldson L Hunt Jr Trust Estate and his daughter's foundation, the Margaret Hunt Trust Estate. The primary beneficiaries of these two trusts are the two eldest children of HL Hunt, William Herbert Hunt and Nelson Bunker Hunt. The Hassie Companies, also involved in oil and gas, are owned by the estate of HL Hunt.
Tom Hunt, HL's nephew, is Hunt Petroleum's chairman of the board. He began his 58-year tenure with the company after returning from WWII. He also serves as trustee of the Margaret Hunt Trust Estate and the Haroldson L Hunt Jr Trust Estate.