I expect SPH will do the same thing to NRGY that they did to their own customers a few years ago--fire the unprofitable customers, squeeze out the unprofitable people/operations. My glance at their 10K says they're paying very roughly 1X sales and 3X gross profits, so there's room to make some money. Add in a normal Winter and the future looks better than last year.
Still, I expect SPH shares to tank for awhile after the deal closes, as many NRGY holders sell the shares they received. But that's not til late 2012, so a lot can happen un between tines. I owned SPH for years, sold it in 2010, may get back in.
This is the first MLP I've ever owned. I look at it as I would a bond. If they're able to buy a company like NRGY then whomever is loaning the money has some idea they'll stay in business. I'm not thinking about price appreciation just yet. I like the 8% "DISTRIBUTION" note its not a dividend. The taxation on this MLP is such that regardless of your income stream you paid zero taxes on that stream this year. I worry more about how much it can go down and I wonder why the 8% goes unnoticed seeing that it was in the 50's yeilding 5 % tax free money and people were happy. In either case as long as they can pay the 8% and it doesn't go bust the stock can depreciate 25% over 3 years and I'll still come out ahead with that tax advantage. If it gets cut in half then I'd have to hold it 6 years ;). Good luck.