MPC Nov 2019 53.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
4.4500
0.0000 (0.00%)
As of 3:56PM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close4.4500
Open4.4500
Bid0.0000
Ask0.0000
Strike53.00
Expire Date2019-11-01
Day's Range4.4500 - 4.4500
Contract RangeN/A
Volume2
Open InterestN/A
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  • Marathon Petroleum Board, Investors Are Said to Discuss CEO
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    (Bloomberg) -- Marathon Petroleum Corp. board members are meeting this week with activist investors to discuss Chief Executive Officer Gary Heminger’s future and the company’s strategy amid calls to split up its businesses, according to people familiar with the matter.After investors Paul Foster and Jeff Stevens met with several board members on Wednesday, representatives for Elliott Management Corp. and D.E. Shaw & Co. plan to meet with directors Thursday, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the meeting wasn’t public. Foster and Stevens together control about 1.7% of the second-biggest U.S. refiner.Marathon is aiming to make a decision on the CEO and its strategy going forward by the time of the company’s third-quarter earnings call on Oct. 31, the people said. The activists view Executive Vice Chairman Greg Goff, who joined Marathon after its purchase of Andeavor, as a well-respected potential replacement for Heminger, according to the people. Representatives for Elliott, D.E. Shaw, Foster and Stevens declined to comment.“Marathon has delivered substantial shareholder value under the leadership of Chairman and CEO Gary Heminger, who has the full support of the board,” Marathon said in a statement. “As we have said publicly, the company is conducting a comprehensive strategic review, and has been collecting feedback from many shareholders as is our practice. The review is ongoing and no conclusions have been reached.”Marathon shares rose 2.3% to $64.10 in New York after earlier climbing as much as 4.3%.Last month Elliott, which recently took a 2.5% stake in Marathon, renewed its push for Marathon to split into three separate companies in order to unlock more than $22 billion in value. Foster and Stevens released a letter days later demanding Heminger’s ouster. D.E. Shaw, which owned a 0.9% stake as of the end of June, has also been pushing Marathon to find ways to unlock more value, according to people familiar with the matter.In their meeting this week, Stevens and Foster told board members that they’re hearing significant support among shareholders for Heminger to step down and agreement with Elliott’s plan to break up the company, according to one of the people. But board members responded that shareholders have told Marathon’s investor relations team that they don’t object to Heminger staying on as CEO, the person said.Heminger -- who was given an exemption from the company’s age-65 mandatory retirement rule in July 2018 -- took charge of the Findlay, Ohio-based company when Marathon Oil Corp. spun off the business in 2011 and has been fighting activist shareholders ever since. While the Ohio native has previously assuaged investors including Jana Partners LLC and overseen a five-fold rise in dividend payouts, the company has faltered more recently as it sought to expand through acquisitions, including the purchase of rival Andeavor.Heminger appeared with Goff in a video posted to YouTube two weeks ago, with the CEO saying he welcomes feedback from shareholders.“Aligning two organizations of this size is complex and challenging, but we’ve been steadily improving our operations,” Heminger, sitting in a wood-paneled room, said on the video. “We agree that our share value does not fully reflect the underlying value of our assets.”\--With assistance from Kiel Porter and Rachel Adams-Heard.To contact the reporters on this story: Scott Deveau in New York at sdeveau2@bloomberg.net;David Wethe in Houston at dwethe@bloomberg.net;Catherine Ngai in New York at cngai16@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net, Christine BuurmaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • Elliott's Marathon Fight Spells Trouble for MLPs
    Bloomberg

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- As the fight for Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s future intensifies, collateral damage looms for an already battle-scarred asset class: master limited partnerships.Elliott Management Corp.’s call for splitting Marathon in three has garnered support from a couple of other shareholders now pushing CEO Gary Heminger to step down. Marathon’s board says it stands behind Heminger, but the persistent discount in the stock versus its sum-of-the-parts value should keep the issue of a corporate overhaul alive. While the future of retail arm Speedway looks like the most contentious area, Elliott’s suggestion of converting Marathon’s MLP, called MPLX LP, into a regular C-Corp and spinning it off looks less controversial.Such conversions have become commonplace. Problems with governance, debt, tax reform and general energy exposure have crushed MLP valuations, eroding their main reason for existing, namely as a cheap source of capital. MPLX now sports a distribution yield of about 9.5%. Converting to a C-Corp, as many others have done, would open up a wider pool of investors.That could be great for MPLX; less so for MLPs.I wrote here back in May about the shrinking MLP pool. Since then, a few partnerships have disappeared, including Andeavor Logistics LP, which was bought by MPLX. Meanwhile, Tallgrass Energy LP has received a buyout offer (of sorts), and Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. should disappear by the end of the year. Plus, with Occidental Petroleum Corp. trying to pay off the debt from its acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Western Midstream Partners LP also could be exiting the scene.Here are updated charts breaking down 83 North American energy infrastructure companies (not including utilities) into their respective groups, weighted by market cap and free float. The dominance of the C-Corps is pretty clear: An MPLX conversion would have a big impact. With a market cap of roughly $30 billion(1), MPLX represents about 11% of North American energy partnerships’ aggregate value. It’s also the largest member of the Alerian MLP Index. Assume MPLX converts and is spun off, plus Buckeye Partners LP(2), Tallgrass, Kinder Morgan Canada and Western Midstream all disappear. Under that scenario, C-Corps would jump from about 62% of the aggregate free float of energy infrastructure firms to more than two-thirds. Meanwhile, outside of C-Corps and the big four, we would be left with a long tail of 61 companies with a combined free float of just $48 billion, averaging less than $800 million each.And the dwindling ranks of the Alerian MLP index would thin further; MPLX, Tallgrass and Western Midstream account for a fifth of its weighting. The relative weighting of smaller partnerships with lower-quality midstream assets would increase. For example, all else equal, Genesis Energy LP, which houses everything from soda-ash production to pipelines to shipping, could enter the top 10 of the index’s holdings.A vicious cycle is at work here. As generalist investors have withdrawn, so MLP valuations have remained subdued despite some recovery in energy prices and continued growth in U.S. physical energy flows. This, along with governance concerns, persuades more partnerships to either sell out or give up on the structure, reducing the pool of available investments, which in turn leads to investment mandates and specialist funds migrating away.Earlier this month, large pension funds in Iowa and Oklahoma effectively eliminated asset allocations to MLPs, with Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma noting a number of drawbacks, including an “extremely small universe of securities relative to other asset classes.” In his latest weekly roundup of the sector, Hinds Howard at CBRE Clarion Securities noted that after a year of trying to deal with weak performance and growing concentration, institutions are “throwing in the towel,” with allocations “being diverted to listed infrastructure strategies, private equity or just plain old global equities.” He adds:MLPs have lost the special designation as a separate allocation within real assets that the sector has enjoyed over the years. That fund flow headwind is the biggest impediment to midstream performance [for] the rest of 2019, especially if oil prices are going to remain a headwind.Of course, even if MLPs are shrinking in importance, the hard assets they own remain and can be invested in under other structures. BP Capital Fund Advisors LLC is touting the catchily named UBS E-TRACS NYSE Pickens Core Midstream Index ETN, which includes allocations to C-Corps, with a recent report subtitled: “Is your midstream exchange traded product still relevant?” Some funds have taken an holistic approach to energy infrastructure for years, notably the First Trust North American Energy Infrastructure Fund, which mixes partnerships with C-Corps and even utilities, and the Voya CBRE Global Infrastructure Fund, which extends beyond energy-related infrastructure.Looking at the relative performance, it isn’t hard to see why. And as more MLP constituents either change identity or leave altogether, more institutional money will follow.\- With graphics by Elaine He (1) All data are as at the market close on September 26, 2019.(2) IFM Investors agreed to buy Buckeye for $11.1 billion (including assumed debt) in May 2019, with completion expected by the end of the year.To contact the author of this story: Liam Denning at ldenning1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Gongloff at mgongloff1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.