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Kinder Morgan Energy: Settlement reached in Copano unitholder lawsuits

Copano Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, announced that Copano, KMP and KMP's general partner have reached an agreement to settle all claims asserted against all defendants purportedly brought on behalf of Copano's former common unitholders arising from the acquisition of Copano by KMP, which closed May 1. Copano unitholders approved the merger, with more than 99% of the units that voted cast in favor of the transaction. These claims were filed in lawsuits in Delaware and Texas. As previously disclosed in Copano's Form 8-K filed on April 22, pursuant to the terms of the settlement, Copano agreed to make certain supplemental disclosures related to the proposed merger solely to avoid the risk of delaying the merger and minimize the expense and uncertainty of continued litigation. The settlement does not require the defendants to pay any monetary consideration to the proposed settlement class. The settlement is subject to, among other conditions, approval of the Delaware Chancery Court. A settlement hearing has been scheduled for September 9. The merger consideration received by Copano's unitholders was valued at $40.91 per common unit based on KMP's closing price as of Jan. 29, representing a 23.5% premium over the closing price of Copano common units on Jan. 29.