Bellatrix boosts Alberta oil holdings with $576 million Angle acquisition

CALGARY – Bellatrix Exploration Ltd. (TSX:BXE) has reached a $576-million deal to acquire Angle Energy Inc. (TSX:NGL) — a move the two Calgary-based firms say will create a dominant oil player in west-central Alberta.

Also Tuesday, Bellatrix announced a $240-million joint venture with the Canadian unit of a Korean private equity fund.

The Angle acquisition will add 10,500 barrels to Bellatrix’s daily production, more than 92,000 net hectares to its undeveloped land base and 500 drilling locations.

The combined company will have a “dominant and highly focused” presence in the Cardium and Lower Mannville regions of the province, Bellatrix said.

“Management and the board of directors of Bellatrix believe the combined asset bases will provide significant benefits to Bellatrix shareholders,” the company in a release.

“Notably, the transaction creates a high growth intermediate company with a sizable, strategic and opportunity rich asset base.”

Angle CEO Gregg Fischbuch said the deal was the result of a strategic review announced in July.

“This complementary transaction creates one of the largest Cardium producers and landholders in Alberta and provides Angle shareholders an attractive price, with significantly enhanced liquidity and the opportunity for ongoing participation in a larger and well capitalized combined company,” he said.

Bellatrix will buy Angle using a combination of cash and stock. The cash component is worth $3.85 per share, while the stock portion is worth 0.4734 of a Bellatrix share, based on a volume-weighted average trading price of just over $8.13 during the 10 trading days ended Oct. 11.

Bellatrix said the $3.85 offer amount represents a 31 per cent premium over the 10-day volume weighted average trading price as of Oct. 11 and a 20 per cent premium over its most recent close.

Bellatrix said the purchase price also includes $261 million in Angle debt, which encompasses various costs associated with the transaction.

The deal is subject to court, regulatory and shareholder approval.

Separately, Bellatrix announced a joint-venture deal with TCA Energy Ltd., a Canadian entity connected to Troika Resources Private Equity Fund, based in Seoul.

Under that deal, TCA will contribute $120 million, representing half of the funds needed for a 63-well drilling program in west-central Alberta, to be completed by the end of 2014.

Angle shares closed down more than three per cent at $3.11 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Bellatrix shares were off 10 cents at $8.35.