CALGARY—Crescent Point Energy Corp. is shelling out $1.53 billion to acquire struggling Legacy Oil + Gas Inc. as it looks to grow its presence in Saskatchewan’s shale oil fields.
The Calgary-based company will pay for the deal with its own shares as well as take on $967 million in Legacy’s debt.
The deal is expected to close around the end of June.
Crescent Point is known for its big appetite for acquisitions, especially ones that help it grow in areas where it’s already active.
CEO Scott Saxberg calls the Legacy assets a “tremendous fit” for Crescent Point.
Just over half of Legacy’s land is in southeast Saskatchewan, where Crescent Point is a dominant player. The Legacy takeover gets Crescent Point an entry into promising oilfields in the Midale region of Saskatchewan.
Earlier this spring, activist investor FrontFour Capital Group was pushing for a shakeup of Legacy’s board of directors.
During times of low commodity prices, it’s common for companies with the financial wherewithal to snap up weaker players at bargain prices. Crude is at around US$58 a barrel, compared to last year’s highs of around US$107.
So far in the current downturn, there haven’t been many deals as buyers and sellers have not been able to see eye to eye on price.
“With the precipitous drop in oil prices beginning in July 2014, Legacy’s valuation has come under pressure. The company’s financial leverage, which was improving in the first half of 2014, also began to erode, putting additional pressure on Legacy’s share price,” Legacy said in a release.
In February, Legacy began to weigh its options.
“The process culminated with the board of directors recommending the transaction with Crescent Point, which was determined to offer Legacy’s shareholders the greatest opportunity to recognize the long term value inherent in Legacy’s assets through a better capitalized combined entity, with a well-funded capital plan, stronger balance sheet and reliable dividend.”