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EQT Corporation (EQT): Activist JANA Slams Proposed Rice Energy Inc (RICE) Purchase

Barry Rosenstein‘s JANA Partners is fuming after EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT) announced it would purchase Rice Energy Inc (NYSE:RICE) for $6.7 billion in the middle of June. The activist hedge fund revealed a 10 million-share, 5.8% stake in EQT on Monday, which it began amassing in April in bullish anticipation of the company’s plans to separate its pipeline operations from its E&P operations.

Instead, EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT) shocked JANA and many other investors when it announced on June 19 that it would pay a hefty premium for Rice Energy Inc (NYSE:RICE) in a deal that would make it the largest natural gas producer in the U.S, while simultaneously delaying its separation plans. Investors reacted negatively, sending shares down by 14% over the following three days, though they’ve since recovered those losses.

JANA filed another 13D yesterday, which included a letter it sent to the company’s board (which unanimously approved the deal) on the same day, in which it ripped the company’s plans, which it said it was “astounded” by.

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