About Air and Water

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Exxon completes buyout of XTO Energy

BY BOB COX - Fort Worth Star Telegram - June 25, 2010

XTO Energy is now part of Exxon Mobil Corp., ending a remarkable 24-year story that saw the Fort Worth company become one of the nation's leading independent oil and gas producers.
The sale of XTO to Exxon, which was announced in December, was formalized Friday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, just hours after stockholders approved the merger.
"It's been a wonderful run as an independent company," Bob Simpson, chairman and co-founder of XTO, said at the shareholders meeting after the votes were tallied.
Irving-based Exxon appointed Jack Williams, a fast-rising executive at the oil giant, to be president of XTO, which will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary.
Williams will move into the XTO headquarters in downtown Fort Worth to assume day-to-day management, but Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said there will be few other changes.
Keith Hutton, previously chief executive of XTO, will remain as executive vice president. All five of XTO's senior leaders were given consulting contracts by Exxon.
"We're really maintaining them as a separate entity," Jeffers said.
"We want them to continue doing what they've been doing."
Exxon is pleased that XTO has been able to retain nearly all of its 3,300-plus employees, Jeffers said, including about 1,500 downtown and at the former Swift & Co. headquarters on Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards. "We've worked very hard to make sure the people know they are valued."
In a statement issued by Exxon, Williams said: "With this agreement, we are combining XTO's skills, capabilities and asset base with Exxon Mobil's advanced research and development and operational capabilities, global scale and financial capacity. The new organization will create the opportunity for more jobs and investment in the development and production of clean-burning natural gas both here in the United States and around the world."
Fewer than 100 people, many of them XTO executives and employees, attended the stockholder meeting Friday at the Fort Worth Club. After opening the 10-minute meeting and giving time for any additional votes to be cast, Simpson announced that stockholders owning about 78 percent of the company's stock, or roughly 455 million shares, voted 99 percent in favor of the buyout.
There seemed just a trace of emotion in Simpson's voice when he told the audience, "I want to thank personally everyone who made it happen," referring to XTO's history. "Exxon has made a wonderful decision; they have the best. This company will continue as a wholly owned subsidiary, and it will continue to do well."
Simpson, who co-founded the company in 1986 with Jon Brumley and Steve Palko, declined to be interviewed after the meeting.
It was an emotional moment for Tena Pruitt, an administrative assistant for eight years who plans to stay with the company. "They're so amazing," Pruitt said of XTO's leadership.
XTO stockholders will receive a 0.7098 share of Exxon Mobil common stock for each XTO share. The cash portion of the deal was originally valued at $31 billion, but Exxon's stock price has declined about 20 percent since that time.

Read more in the Fort Worth Star Telegram

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Travel to other worlds ... UTA Planetarium

Immersive full-dome 3-D Digital planetarium show narrated by Ewan McGregor (Obi wan Kepobi from Star Wars) - Astronaut takes you exporing the worlds of inner and outer space. The movie is projected all around you. You recline in specially constructed chairs which enables you to comfortably view the immersive full-dome planetarium show. Astronaut! (produced from the National Space Centre in England) goes beyond the stereotypical space movie. Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of the astronaut. Float around the international Space Station moving thorugh the microscopic regions of the human body! Discover the beauty and perils as "Chad", the test astronaut experiences everything thrown at him.

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