Canadian Manufacturing

Equal Energy willing to talk with Montclair but time needed to study $142M bid

Turned down proposal because U.S. company was unwilling to wait until committee could consider offer



CALGARY—Equal Energy Ltd. is denying that it has definitively rejected a $142-million takeover offer by Alabama-based Montclair Energy LLC.

Equal says it turned down Montclair’s proposal after it was originally made March 15 because the U.S. company was unwilling to wait until a special committee could consider the offer and possible alternatives.

“Equal has engaged in discussions with a number of potential suitors, including Montclair, to understand the terms and conditions of their expressions of interest and the value proposition they represent,” the oil and gas company said in a statement.

“Montclair’s unsolicited and conditional proposal was rejected as Montclair requested a response prior to the completion of the special committee’s process. Equal would be pleased to consider further proposals from Montclair as part of the special committee’s process.”

The statement was issued after Montclair said it was still looking to buy the Calgary concern despite rejection of its cash offer of $4 per share.

“While our goal is to reach a negotiated transaction with Equal Energy, we have determined that Equal Energy shareholders should be informed of our interest in an acquisition such that they can consider for themselves whether our proposal should be pursued by the company,” Montclair chief executive Cobb Hazelrig said in a statement.

Montclair said it will now evaluate all of its options, including the possibility of nominating a slate of independent directors to Equal Energy’s board, and more talks with the company’s management.

Montclair noted it was not currently soliciting proxies or consents from Equal Energy shareholders.

Equal Energy holds a portfolio of oil and gas properties in Oklahoma.

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