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02 September
Comments Off on Drillsearch, Beach strike $1.2b merger

Drillsearch, Beach strike $1.2b merger

Drillsearch and Beach Energy want to create a $1.

苏州半永久眼线

2 billion energy company with the backing of billionaire shareholder Kerry Stokes.

The Cooper Basin-focused companies say the deal will save them $20 million a year and result in a new company positioned for growth when oil prices rise.

It’s the latest merger and acquisition deal in an energy sector dented by falling commodity prices.

Santos has rejected a $7.1 billion bid from a major fund manager, and Oil Search rejected Woodside Petroleum’s $11.6 billion takeover offer.

The Drillsearch and Beach merger will deliver investors 1.25 Beach shares for every Drillsearch share, valuing Drillsearch at 83 cents a share, a 27 per cent premium on its previous closing price.

Drillsearch shares soared 26 per cent to 82.5 cents on the news.

Mr Stokes’ Seven Group is a major shareholder in each company, and will hold a stake of around 20 per cent in the new company.

Drillsearch and Beach denied Mr Stokes had driven the deal.

“Seven Group Holdings, obviously, had an interest in it as the major shareholder in both entities but that’s it,” Beach chairman Glenn Davis said.

“What helped drive this was the fact that Jim (Drillsearch chairman Jim McKerlie) and I and the boards have been talking about this for a very long time and, like all deals, timing is everything and now is the right time.”

Mr McKerlie said the deal would boost Drillsearch’s size, allow it to take advantage of growth, unlock synergies and deliver benefits for all shareholders.

“Our decision making is not driven by public pressure or by what’s written in the newspapers. It’s driven by underlying industrial logic,” he said.

He predicted the price of oil would remain around $US50 for some time.

The merger will create a company that produces more than 12 million barrels of oil or equivalent.

“Size does matter,” Mr McKerlie said.

“Should oil move, then our value will rise according to that.”

Drillsearch and Beach shareholders are expected to vote on the proposal early next year.

The two companies are the biggest producers in the Cooper Basin, which delivers gas to the east coast.

IG market analyst Angus Nicholson said Drillsearch shareholders would probably regard the 27 per cent premium as a bit low following a recent hit to the company’s share price.

“Drillsearch will be looking for somewhere closer to the 40 to 50 per cent premium,” he said.

 
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