NEW YORK (AP) — THE BUYOUT: Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP is buying natural gas company Copano Energy LLC for about $3.2 billion in stock. It will pay $40.91 per Copano unit, a 24 percent premium to the company's Tuesday closing price of $33.13.

The companies put the deal's total value at about $5 billion, including debt.

THE DETAILS: Once the buyout closes, Kinder Morgan Energy will own The Eagle Ford Gathering, currently a joint venture between the company and Copano.

THE CLOSING: The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter, if approved by regulators and Copano's investors.