Range Resources buys Memorial Resource in $3.3 billion stock deal

Range Resources Corp., a Fort Worth natural-gas producer, agreed to buy Memorial Resource Development Corp. of Houston in a $3.3 billion all-stock deal.

Memorial Resource shareholders will get 0.375 shares of Range for each share held, implying a value of $15.75 a share, or a 17 percent premium to the closing price on May 13, he companies said Monday. The transaction is valued at $4.4 billion when $1.1 billion of debt is included.

The combination — one of few U.S. energy mergers during the market rout — will give Range access to gas and oil properties in north Louisiana, adding to  its operations in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas. Both companies have seen their shares drop during the commodities slump, which dragged down U.S. gas prices to a 17-year low in March amid a supply glut.

The transaction adds “to our cash flow, bolsters our credit profile and enhances the overall portfolio,” Jeff Ventura, Range’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the terms, according to the statement. Both expect completion, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, in the second half of 2016.