March 18, 2013 at 09:01 AM EDT
LINN Energy and LinnCo Announce Early Termination of Hart-Scott-Rodino Waiting Period for Definitive Merger Agreement With Berry Petroleum Company

HOUSTON, March 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LINN Energy, LLC (Nasdaq:LINE) and LinnCo, LLC (Nasdaq:LNCO) today announced that they have received early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, in connection with their proposed merger with Berry Petroleum Company (NYSE:BRY), which was announced on February 21, 2013. The termination of this waiting period, which is effective as of March 13, 2013, satisfies one of the conditions to closing for LINN Energy and LinnCo's proposed acquisition of Berry Petroleum Company. 

The transaction is subject to other closing conditions, including the approval of the shareholders of Berry and LinnCo and the unitholders of LINN Energy. Subject to satisfaction of these other closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close by June 30, 2013. 

As previously announced on February 21, 2013, LINN Energy, LLC, LinnCo, LLC, and Berry Petroleum Company have signed a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which LINN and LinnCo will acquire all of Berry's outstanding shares for total consideration of approximately $4.3 billion, including the assumption of debt. The transaction, which is structured as a stock-for-stock merger of Berry with LinnCo followed by the acquisition of the Berry assets by LINN, is expected to be tax-free to Berry shareholders. This transaction represents the first ever acquisition of a public C-Corp by an upstream LLC or MLP.

ABOUT LINN ENERGY

LINN Energy's mission is to acquire, develop, and maximize cash flow from a growing portfolio of long-life oil and natural gas assets. LINN Energy is a top-15 U.S. independent oil and natural gas development company, with approximately 4.8 Tcfe of proved reserves in producing U.S. basins as of December 31, 2012. More information about LINN Energy is available at www.linnenergy.com.

The LINN Energy logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6573

ABOUT LINNCO

LinnCo was created to enhance LINN Energy's ability to raise additional equity capital to execute on its acquisition and growth strategy. LinnCo is a Delaware limited liability company that has elected to be taxed as a corporation for United States federal income tax purposes, and accordingly its shareholders will receive a Form 1099 in respect of any dividends paid by LinnCo. More information about LinnCo is available at www.linnco.com.

ABOUT BERRY PETROLEUM COMPANY

Berry Petroleum Company is a publicly traded independent oil and natural gas production and exploitation company with operations in California, Texas, Utah, and Colorado. The company uses its website as a channel of distribution of material company information. Financial and other material information regarding the company is routinely posted on and accessible at http://www.bry.com.

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning the proposed transactions, its financial and business impact, management's beliefs and objectives with respect thereto, and management's current expectations for future operating and financial performance, based on assumptions currently believed to be valid. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than statements of historical facts. The words "anticipates," "may," "can," "plans," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "projects," "intends," "likely," "will," "should," "to be," and any similar expressions or other words of similar meaning are intended to identify those assertions as forward-looking statements. It is uncertain whether the events anticipated will transpire, or if they do occur what impact they will have on the results of operations and financial condition of LINN, LinnCo, Berry or of the combined company. These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including but not limited to the ability of the parties to satisfy the conditions precedent and consummate the proposed transactions, the timing of consummation of the proposed transactions, the ability of the parties to secure regulatory approvals in a timely manner or on the terms desired or anticipated, the ability of LINN to integrate the acquired operations, the ability to implement the anticipated business plans following closing and achieve anticipated benefits and savings, and the ability to realize opportunities for growth. Other important economic, political, regulatory, legal, technological, competitive and other uncertainties are identified in the documents filed with the SEC by Berry, LINN and LinnCo from time to time, including their respective Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and Current Reports on Form 8-K.  The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof.  None of Berry, LINN nor LinnCo undertakes any obligation to update the forward-looking statements included in this press release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTIONS AND WHERE TO FIND IT

In connection with the proposed transactions, LINN and LinnCo intend to file with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-4 that will include a joint proxy statement of LinnCo, LINN and Berry that also constitutes a prospectus of LINN and LinnCo. Each of Berry, LINN and LinnCo also plan to file other relevant documents with the SEC regarding the proposed transactions. INVESTORS ARE URGED TO READ THE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC IF AND WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION.  You may obtain a free copy of the joint proxy statement/prospectus (if and when it becomes available) and other relevant documents filed by Berry, LINN and LinnCo with the SEC at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. You may also obtain these documents by contacting LINN's and LinnCo's Investor Relations department at (281) 840-4193 or via e-mail at ir@linnenergy.com or by contracting Berry's Investor Relations department at (866) 472-8279 or via email at ir@bry.com.

PARTICIPANTS IN THE SOLICITATION

Berry, LINN and LinnCo and their respective directors and executive officers and other members of management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed transactions. Information about LINN's directors and executive officers is available in LINN's proxy statement dated March 12, 2012, for its 2012 Annual Meeting of Unitholders. Information about LinnCo's directors and executive officers is available in LinnCo's Registration Statement on Form S-1 dated June 25, 2012, as amended, with respect to its initial public offering of common shares. Information about Berry's directors and executive officers is available in Berry's proxy statement dated April 6, 2012, for its 2012 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Other information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitations and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the joint proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC regarding the proposed transactions when they become available. Investors should read the joint proxy statement/prospectus carefully when it becomes available before making any voting or investment decisions. You may obtain free copies of these documents from Berry, LINN, or LinnCo using the sources indicated above.

This document shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offering of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

CONTACT: LINN Energy, LLC and LinnCo, LLC
         
         Investors & Media:
         Clay Jeansonne, Vice President, Investor and Public Relations
         281-840-4193
         
         Brook Wootton, Director, Investor and Public Relations
         281-840-4099
         
         Berry Petroleum Company
         
         Investors & Media:
         Zach Dailey, Manager, Investor Relations
         303-999-4071
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