Pipeline operators take different routes to growth

Sunday’s column, available on houstonchronicle.com:

One buys, the other builds. Both grow.

Houston is home to the country’s two biggest pipeline operators, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and Enterprise Products Partners, and the two companies have embraced divergent strategies in delivering returns for investors.

That was underscored last week with Kinder Morgan’s $4 billion bid for another Houston pipeline operator, Copano Energy.

“Kinder Morgan has been on a buying spree lately, whereas Enterprise, which for years grew through large acquisitions, is now growing through building rather than buying,” said Hinds Howard, chief investment officer for Guzman Investment Strategies in Austin.