Gibson buys Louisiana environmental services firm for US$445 million

CALGARY – Gibson Energy Inc. (TSX:GEI) signed a deal Thursday to buy a Louisiana-based environmental and production services firm for US$445 million.

Privately held Omni Energy Services Corp. is active in several major oil and natural gas liquids-rich formations across the United States.

“Omni broadens Gibson’s footprint in most of the major U.S. liquids focused basins, provides the scale we believe is required to grow the environmental services business in North America, expands upon the Palko Environmental Ltd. acquisition in December of 2011 and adds new customers in the U.S.,” Gibson CEO Stewart Hanlon said.

The acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of the month, will add nearly 1,100 employees to Gibson’s workforce.

Gibson said the deal will take advantage of an industry trend toward greater environmental scrutiny of oil and gas drilling.

“Omni comes with a strong management team, a significant growth profile and a substantial opportunity to expand the current Gibson suite of offerings to new geographies as well as to Omni’s current customers,” Hanlon said.

Gibson also plans to increase its quarterly dividend by four per cent or a penny to 26 cents per share once the deal closes.

In connection with the acquisition, Gibson is raising at least $350 million through a bought-deal financing. The subscription receipts, priced at $22.10 apiece, will be offered through a syndicate of investment dealers co-led by BMO Capital Markets and RBC Capital Markets.

Gibson shares rose 11 cents to $22.74 in late afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange Thursday.