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NEW YORK (AP) – Fort Worth based Range Resources will buy rival natural gas producer Memorial Resource Development for about $3.3 billion to expand its range in the East and in the Gulf.

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Shareholders of Memorial Resources, based in Houston, will receive 0.375 shares of Range Resources stock for each of their shares. The all-stock deal is valued at about $15.75 per share, marking a 17 percent premium to its closing price Friday.

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Range Resources will also assume $1.1 billion in debt.

The purchase better positions the Texas company in the Appalachian and Gulf Coast regions. The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.

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