Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) was founded in February of 1997 when a group of investors led by Chairman and CEO Richard D. Kinder and former Vice Chairman William V. Morgan acquired the general partner of a small, publicly traded pipeline limited partnership (Enron Liquids Pipeline).
Based in Houston, KMP began with a few assets, 175 employees and an enterprise value of approximately $325 million. Mr. Kinder and Mr. Morgan had a vision to build a different type of energy company by utilizing the master limited partnership (MLP) financial structure as a growth vehicle, something that had never been done before. The vision was highly successful and KMP became the largest publicly traded pipeline limited partnership in America based on enterprise value. In the early years KMP grew mostly through acquisitions, purchasing such assets as refined petroleum pipelines, CO2 production fields and transportation pipelines, intrastate natural gas pipelines and bulk and liquids terminals. As time went on, the majority of KMP's growth came through expansions and new build projects.
In 1999, Mr. Kinder and his management team took over the reins of KN Energy, an integrated natural gas pipeline company based in Lakewood, Colorado. KN's roots dated back to 1936 when, as a local distribution company, it provided natural gas service to small communities and rural areas in Kansas and Nebraska. One of the main assets that came from this deal was Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL), which serves the high-demand Chicago market. KN Energy became Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI), Kinder Morgan's second publicly traded company. Today KMI owns 20 percent of and operates NGPL.
A third publicly traded Kinder Morgan company was formed in 2001 - Kinder Morgan Management, LLC (NYSE: KMR) - to facilitate institutional ownership of KMP equity. KMR was a limited liability company and its only significant assets were the partnership units it owned in KMP.
In August 2005, KMI purchased Terasen Inc. in Canada for approximately $5.6 billion. This transaction dramatically broadened the company’s footprint in Canada and gave it access to the oilsands via the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
In 2006, Mr. Kinder spearheaded a management led buyout to take KMI private. That transaction closed in May 2007. On Feb. 11, 2011, KMI once again began trading on the New York Stock Exchange following the largest private equity-backed U.S. initial public offering in history. The IPO issued nearly 110 million shares and raised approximately $3.3 billion.
In May 2012 KMI completed an approximately $38 billion acquisition of El Paso Corporation. The transaction made Kinder Morgan the largest midstream and one of the largest energy companies in North America, as well as the largest natural gas network operator in North America. As part of the transaction, Kinder Morgan added a fourth publicly traded entity to its family of companies – El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. (NYSE: EPB).
In May 2013 KMP completed an approximately $5 billion acquisition of Copano Energy, which enabled the company to significantly expand its midstream services footprint and offer a wider array of services to its customers.
In August 2014, KMI announced that it would acquire all of the publicly held shares/units of KMP, KMR and EPB in an approximately $76 billion transaction. The transaction closed Nov. 26, 2014. Kinder Morgan is now one publicly traded company with a ticker on the New York Stock Exchange of KMI.