NEW YORK (Reuters) - EP Energy LLC, the oil and gas company bought just last year by a private equity consortium led by Apollo Global Management LLC for $7.15 billion, is working with investment banks to prepare for an initial public offering as soon as this year, three people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
The company has not yet formally mandated underwriters to lead the proposed offering, but has asked several investment banks to draw up plans for a possible IPO, the people said.
An initial filing with U.S. regulators may come within the next few months and could value the company at more than $8 billion, one of the people said.
The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the process is not yet public. They cautioned that Apollo has not yet made a decision on the timing of the IPO and could postpone any plans if market conditions worsen.
The Apollo-led group, which includes Riverstone Holdings LLC and Access Industries Inc, completed the acquisition of EP Energy - originally El Paso Corp's exploration and production arm - in May 2012.
Apollo and Riverstone declined to comment while EP Energy and Acccess Industries did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by Olivia Oran, Greg Roumeliotis and Michael Erman Editing by Soyoung Kim; Editing by Gary Hill)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - J.C. Penney Co Inc will likely learn in August whether it can sell certain Martha Stewart-branded home goods it has been prevented from stocking due to a lawsuit by rival Macy's Inc .
Closing arguments in the lawsuit have been scheduled for August 1, Macy's attorney Theodore Grossman said on Monday.
Justice Jeffrey Oing, who is presiding over the case, has said he will render a verdict soon after summations.
Macy's, which claims exclusive rights to Martha Stewart cookware, bedding and bath products, sued Penney and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc after the two companies announced a partnership in December 2011. Macy's claims the deal breaches its contract with the domestic diva's company.
The verdict will determine whether J.C. Penney can sell Martha Stewart-branded goods in categories claimed by Macy's in Martha Stewart stores within Penney.
The judge also will decide whether Penney can sell certain Martha Stewart-designed goods without her name.
Until the judge rules, J.C. Penney cannot sell products in Macy's exclusive categories under the Martha Stewart brand. But it can sell a line of home goods designed by Stewart under the "JCP Everyday" label.
While hearing the case, the judge allowed sale of Penney's existing inventory of "JCP Everyday" goods, saying he could not ignore the economic harm an adverse ruling would have caused Penney. But he said Macy's could be entitled to damages.
Former J.C. Penney Chief Executive Ron Johnson viewed Martha Stewart as key to his vision for remaking the struggling retailer. Johnson, who failed to win over shoppers and investors, was ousted April 8.
In addition to "JCP Everyday" products, J.C. Penney is already selling Martha Stewart-branded party goods, curtains and other products not claimed by Macy's.
A non-jury trial started in New York state court in February. Testimony ended in April and post-trial briefs were filed May 31.
The August 1 date for closing arguments was set Monday morning, Macy's attorney Grossman said when asked about the case. The date has not yet been recorded in the court calendar.
The case is Macy's Inc v Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc, 650197/2012, New York State Supreme Court, New York County.
(Reporting By Karen Freifeld; Editing by David Gregorio)