EQT Corp. investor Jana Partners LLC continues to lobby against the company's proposed $8 billion acquisition of Rice Energy Inc. In another letter to EQT's board of directors, Jana founder Barry Rosenstein said management "conjured up dubious additional synergies" to help sell the acquisition to shareholders during its second quarter earnings call. Rosenstein previously wrote the board to say EQT's deal to buy Rice would cost too much and said the original $2.5 billion of estimated cost synergies would be eroded by the premium. EQT management said during the call that if it acquires Rice, longer laterals, administrative savings, buying power and marketing optimization, among other things, could create up to $7.5 billion in synergies. Jana, which owns nearly 6% of EQT's shares, said many could be worth nothing at all or achieved without the acquisition. Jana instead wants EQT to separate its upstream and midstream businesses.
A rapid-response team from the National Transportation Safety Board and officials from CenterPoint Energy are investigating an explosion possibly linked to natural gas at the Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis. The explosion at mid-morning Wednesday killed two people and injured several others. The bodies of school receptionist Ruth Berg, 47, and part-time custodian John F. Carlson, 82, were recovered. According to initial reports, the explosion and fire led to the partial collapse of an upper school building. At least nine people were taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center.