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Cook Inlet Energy Acquired by Macquarie Bank

Australian-based Macquarie Bank Group said Thursday it plans to acquire Los Angeles-based energy marketer Cook Inlet Energy Supply LLC for an undisclosed price. Founded in 1991, Cook Inlet provides physical natural gas trading, transportation and storage services to North American natural gas producers, utilities, wholesalers, and industrial end users.

"The acquisition of Cook Inlet is a significant strategic step for Macquarie's North American energy markets business, adding a major platform of physical trading expertise to our existing financial and structured energy markets activities," said Andrew Downe, head of Macquarie's Treasury and Commodities Group. "Macquarie and Cook Inlet are a strong cultural fit, with complementary skill sets and a similar emphasis on risk management and credit worthiness." Downe added the combination would offer Macquarie "a strong competitive advantage in a fragmented market."

Cook Inlet's founder and CEO Gregory L. Craig, and President Hans O. Saeby, will join Macquarie as division directors and will remain as part of the Cook Inlet management team. Under the terms of the acquisition, Cook Inlet, which currently employs 59, will become a wholly owned operating subsidiary of the Macquarie Bank Group, with operational and financial handover of the business expected to be on Nov. 1. Macquarie intends to retain the Cook Inlet Energy Supply operating name through a transition period.

Overall management of Cook Inlet under Macquarie ownership will be the responsibility of Nick O'Kane, currently an executive director with Macquarie's Energy Markets Division based in London, who will be relocating to Los Angeles. Ron Neal, currently a division director within the Energy Markets Division, will also join the Cook business and be responsible for origination and structuring.

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