Hess Corp. is set to acquire American Oil & Gas Inc., a move that is expected to increase Hess’ strategic acreage position in the Bakken oil play in North Dakota by approximately 85,000 net acres.
“This acquisition builds upon our strong land position in the Bakken, leverages our nearby infrastructure and offers operational synergies,” said Greg Hill, president of worldwide exploration and production at Hess.
Under terms of the agreement, Hess has agreed to issue 0.1373 shares of its common stock in exchange for each outstanding share of American Oil & Gas’ common stock. This represents a 9.4% premium to American Oil & Gas stockholders based on the closing stock prices of Hess’ and American Oil & Gas’ shares on July 27, 2010.
Hess is expected to issue approximately 8.6 million shares for all outstanding American Oil & Gas shares and options on a net settlement basis. The merger agreement provides for a possible cash dividend to American Oil & Gas’ stockholders to the extent of American Oil & Gas’ positive working capital as of the closing date (subject to certain adjustments that are described in the merger agreement) and subject to available cash.
Hess plans to provide American Oil & Gas with a $30 million working capital credit facility to help finance American Oil & Gas’ planned exploration and production activities and other working capital needs prior to the closing of the transaction.
“We believe this transaction captures the value that we have been able to create since our initial entry in the North Dakota Bakken play four years ago,” said Pat O’Brien, CEO of American Oil & Gas. “We are excited about the leverage our stockholders will gain not only to Hess’ compelling Bakken position and developmental activities, but also to Hess’ large and diverse global project portfolio.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval of American Oil & Gas’ shareholders. Holders of approximately 20.5% of American Oil & Gas common stock have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the merger. Completion of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter of 2010.
In connection with the transaction, Goldman, Sachs & Co. is acting as financial advisor to Hess, and Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities Inc. is acting as financial advisor and provided a Fairness Opinion to American Oil & Gas. Legal counsel is being provided by White & Case LLP for Hess, and Patton Boggs LLP for American Oil & Gas.