Berkley Petroleum seeks suitors to thwart Hunt's bid

Berkley Petroleum Corp., Calgary, says it has received inquiries from interested parties and will open data rooms early next week for potential buyers. The medium-sized Canadian producer is the target of a $1.4 billion (Can.) hostile takeover bid by a unit of Hunt Oil Co., Dallas, which made a $10/share offer on Dec. 27. Berkley has hired two Calgary investment firms as advisors.


CALGARY�Berkley Petroleum Corp., Calgary, says it has received inquiries from interested parties and will open data rooms early next week for potential buyers.

The medium-sized Canadian producer is the target of a $1.4 billion (Can.) hostile takeover bid by a unit of Hunt Oil Co., Dallas, which made a $10/share offer Dec. 27.

Berkley is seeking other potential buyers and has hired two Calgary investment firms, Peters & Co. and Scotia Capital Inc., as advisors.

Hunt has mailed an offer to Berkley shareholders that will remain open 41 days, until Feb. 6. Berkley has adopted a shareholder rights plan that says any offer must remain open for 60 days. Berkley has described the Hunt offer as inadequate and opportunistic (OGJ Online, Dec. 29, 2000). Hunt already owns 9.6% of Berkley.

Berkley is an attractive takeover target because of its strong natural gas prospects. It has a 21% interest in major natural gas discoveries in the Fort Liard region of the Northwest Territories, is active in Alberta Foothills deep gas plays, and is lead partner in a group developing gas prospects at East Lost Hills in California�s San Joaquin Valley.

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