"United Gas Corporation was a major oil company from its inception in 1930 to its hostile takeover and subsequent forced merger with Pennzoil in 1968. Headquartered in Shreveport, Louisiana, United and its major subsidiaries, Union Producing Company, United Gas Pipeline Company, Atlas Processing, UGC Instruments, and Duval Mining, performed integrated exploration, production, processing, and distribution of oil and natural gas and other raw materials.
Second only to Gulf Oil in size and scope, United Gas was one of the first natural gas transmission companies. In 1968, United was merged into Pennzoil, and the firm was renamed Pennzoil United, Inc. The retail gas distribution assets of United were spun off into Entex Energy in 1970. United Gas Pipeline stock was distributed to Pennzoil shareholders in 1974, and that company was eventually restructured as United Energy Resources, Inc., which was, in turn, acquired by Midcon Corporation.
At the time of its takeover by Pennzoil, United operated the busiest pipeline network in the United States, carrying 8% of the nation's supply, and was eight times the size of its buyer. The dramatic takeover, accomplished by a cash tender offer using vast amounts of borrowed money and United's own assets as collateral, was the first of its kind in the United States, and, together with the subsequent asset spin-off, the event is a classic example of the leveraged buyout and corporate raid and resulted in numerous lawsuits and regulatory investigations.
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