EPCO, Hines in Shell Plaza Deal


Houston-based Enterprise Products Company (“EPCO”) and Hines, an international real estate firm, have inked a definitive agreement. Per the deal, an affiliate of EPCO will purchase Shell Plaza in the central business district of Houston from the Hines U.S. Core Office Fund.

EPCO and its affiliates are known to hold major interests in energy partnership Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD), along with real estate holdings in the Houston area, including the 1100 Louisiana office building.

Shell Plaza, spanning 1.8 million square feet, is an office complex comprising two buildings — One Shell Plaza and Two Shell Plaza. The construction of Shell Plaza concluded in 1970. The North American headquarters of Shell Oil Company and the law firm Baker Botts LLP – Shell Plaza, was developed and designed by Hines and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, respectively.

The acquisition news was first reported in an industry trade journal released last week that estimated the purchase price at $550 million. However, the cost detail was not revealed by the concerned parties.

The deal is expected to be closed in August 2012 and is subject to usual due diligence. Upon closure, Hines will remain responsible for the management as well as lease of Shell Plaza.

EPCO was established in 1968 by the late billionaire Dan Duncan. Currently, the affiliate acquiring Shell Plaza is under the management of Duncan’s daughter Randa Duncan Williams, Ralph Cunningham and Richard H. Bachmann.

EPCO considers Houston an emerging hub for global finance, which offers desirable environment for business growth and development. The company’s long-term investment in the region supports this view.

Enterprise Products Partners holds a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates to a Hold rating for a period of one to three months. Longer term, we maintain a Neutral recommendation on the stock. The partnership faces competition from its peers Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. (KMP) and Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP).

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