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Alpha Natural Resources sells stake in natural gas venture

Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. has agreed to sell its 50 percent interest in its Alpha Shale Resources Joint Venture with Rice Energy for $300 million in cash and stock, the company announced Monday.

Alpha and Rice entered into the 50-50 joint venture in 2010 to develop a portion of Alpha's Marcellus shale natural gas holdings in Green County, Pa.

In return for its stake, Alpha will receive $100 million in cash and another $200 million in Rice Energy common stock when the company closes its initial public offering.

Kevin Crutchfield, Alpha's chairman and CEO, said the transaction provides an excellent return on investment and will add a significant amount of cash to the company's balance sheet.

Crutchfield said Bristol, Va.-based Alpha will continue to evaluate possibilities for the nearly 10,000 acres of the company's Marcellus portfolio in an effort to create value for the company. 


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