Finance/Companies news briefs, July 11

Ocelot International � PanAfrican Energy � Morrison Knudsen � Raytheon Engineers & Constructors ... Southern Co. ... CanWest Gas Supply ... Precision Drilling ... Plains Energy Services


Ocelot International Ltd., formerly of Calgary, has begun trading under the new name of PanAfrican Energy Corp. on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The medium-sized independent sold its oil and gas interests in Western Canada several years ago when it moved its headquarters to London and developed exploration and production operations in Gabon and other African countries. The company is now headquartered in St. Helier, Jersey, off the UK.

Engineering and construction firm Morrison Knudsen Corp. (MK), Boise, Idaho, last week announced it has completed its purchase of the Raytheon Engineers & Constructors business unit of Raytheon Co., Lexington, Mass. The combined company will be called Washington Group International Inc. It will have more than $5 billion in annual revenues and a backlog of about $6.6 billion. The company began operating under its new name last week. MK paid $53 million in cash and assumed $450 million in liabilities. Washington Group is comprised of five units: power, infrastructure and mining, government, industrial-process, and petroleum and chemicals. In conjunction with the closing, MK says it completed a $1.3 billion financing package that will provide liquidity.

Southern Co., Atlanta, has agreed to take over management of CanWest Gas Supply Inc., Calgary, the largest marketer of natural gas from British Columbia. CanWest, owned by a group of 38 Canadian natural gas producers, sells about 500 MMcfd of gas. The deal increases Southern�s sales in Canada by 6.1% to 8.7 bcf/day. Terms of the CanWest deal were not disclosed. Southern took control June 1 of another Canadian gas marketer, Pan-Alberta Gas Ltd., Calgary.

Precision Drilling Corp., Calgary, reports it has acquired 96.5% of the shares of Plains Energy Services Ltd., Calgary, in a $245 million (Can.) takeover deal. Precision originally offered $8.30/share and then increased that to $10.75, which was accepted by Plains (OGJ Online, July 5, 2000). Plains provides drilling rigs, wells services and production testing in the North American market. Precision is Canada�s largest drilling company.

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