In an interview for the January-February issue of Corporate Counsel Business Journal, Pittsburgh partners Ryan Purpura and AJ Carna discussed the challenges of helping energy industry clients find value in a volatile commodity price environment.
Purpura and Carna — who lead McGuireWoods’ energy industry team and the firm’s oil and gas practice, respectively — shared their views on the M&A landscape for oil and gas, opportunities for private equity clients, and what they expect for the energy sector overall in 2019.
“Principally, there’s going to be further consolidation in the industry by opportunistic, larger balance sheet players who have the ability to grow and add reserves, add drilling locations, in a cost-effective way,” Purpura said. “The really big dollar transactions have mostly been large public companies taking out other public companies or private equity backed operators.”
“We expect to see continued strategic consolidation in the oil and gas space, as well as the continued development of water and midstream infrastructure,” Carna added. “There’s going to be continued development of renewables facilities and deal flow. We also expect to see consolidation in coal, with larger players acquiring smaller players, and strategic mine acquisitions.”
Purpura said private equity funds are driving more of the deal flow in the energy sector, and McGuireWoods is focused on helping them find value. “We not only do the legal work but help them deploy best practices at the operations level,” he said. “We are one of a handful of firms that can walk in all worlds. We help newly capitalized operators with the myriad of challenges in trying to grow businesses in a tougher commodity price environment.”