Renegade Petroleum Ltd. has been rescued. Its saviour, however, has seen better days. It's a small deal involving companies on Canada's junior exchange, but there's big players involved.
The small energy company agreed to a merge with Alexander Energy Ltd., in a deal that looks much like a takeover. Each Renegade share will be swapped for 2.25 shares of Alexander, according to an announcement released Tuesday. Based on Alexander's five-day weighted average trading price, each Renegade share is worth the equivalent of $1.55. Renegade closed at $1 Monday.
But Alexander's stock is crashing. By midafternoon Tuesday, it traded at 60 cents, a drop of more than 15 per cent. This means Renegade shareholders are getting the equivalent of about $1.35. On top of the plummeting stock, Alexander intends to cancel Renegade's existing dividend payment. That won't hurt too much. Renegade pays shareholders 0.8333 cents a share per month.
The excitement around Renegade was never centred on money. Instead, it was about personalities. Rick George, Suncor Energy Inc.'s retired chief executive officer, and his son Zachary, through his investment house FrontFour Capital Group LLC, led the charge against Renegade's board. Tom Budd, the colourful former head of investment banking at GMP Securities Ltd., was trying to sell all or some of Renegade.
The Georges' effort to take control of board seats fell short last month, and their proxy battle was dropped. The quiet ending to the battle disappointed Calgary's finance types, but not because they had necessarily picked a side. The oil patch hasn't seen an old-fashioned feisty proxy battle in ages, and the Renegade fight pitted two of the city's best-known names against each other. Observers were enjoying the theatre, and wanted to see the climax. Instead, the play ended after the first act.
The combined company will be called Spartan Energy Corp. and run by Alexander's management team. Spartan will focus on light oil in Saskatchewan, and it wants to be a growth company. Mr. Budd, who came out of retirement to try to fix Renegade, will join its board. The total transaction price, including debt, rings in at $495-million, and $548-million worth of tax pools come along. Two-thirds of Renegade's shareholders must approve the deal in order for it to close.
"Alexander expects to be able to grow production from the properties being acquired while generating significant free cash flow. Renegade shareholders will have an opportunity to participate in an aggressive growth-oriented company," the pair said in a statement.