Pressure pumpers C&J Energy Services Inc. and Keane Group Inc. agreed on June 17 to combine in what analysts are calling a “true merger of equals.”

In the all-stock transaction, valued at roughly $745.7 million, is set to create the third largest pressure pumper in the U.S., better positioning the Houston-based companies to endure tough market conditions faced by the oilfield service sector.

Jim Wickland, research analyst with Stephens Inc., noted during an industry event in Houston earlier this year that the oilfield service index in February was “dead flat” to where it was 15 years ago in 2004. Comparatively, the E&P index saw a 300% increase even with the current weakness in the public markets.

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