Ensign unit successful in takeover of majority ownership of AOG

Ensign Holdings has gained majority ownership of more than 50% of the shares of Australian onshore drilling contractor Australian Oil & Gas Corp. in a bid that values AOG at $175 million.

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, July 17 -- Ensign (Australia) Holdings Pty. Ltd., a unit of Ensign Resource Service Group Inc., Calgary, has gained majority ownership of more than 50% of the shares of Australian onshore drilling contractor Australian Oil & Gas Corp. Ltd. (AOG) in a bid that values AOG at $175 million (Aus.) on a fully diluted basis. The Ensign unit's final bid for AOG of $2.70 (Aus.)/share made on July 11 is an increase over its July 4 bid price of $2.60 (Aus.)/share.

Ensign outbid offers from Precision Drilling (Australia) Pty. Ltd., a unit of Calgary-based Precision Drilling Corp., and a wholly owned Australian subsidiary of Parker Drilling Co. of Houston, both of which made previous takeover bids for AOG earlier this year.

In May, Precision made an offer of $2.25 (Aus.)/share for AOG, valuing the company at $144 million (Aus.). Then, in June, Parker made a $2.50 (Aus.)/share offer for AOG, valuing the firm at $153 million. Both Precision and Parker announced that neither firm would be increasing its bid for AOG to counter Ensign's most recent bid.

Deal details
Ensign's bid for AOG was automatically extended 2 weeks, through July 24, pursuant to Australian regulations.

"Our strong North American operations will be augmented by AOG's international operations, thereby positioning the Ensign Group to effectively compete in an international oil field services market," said Selby Porter, president, Ensign Resource.

The employees and operations of AOG would form the cornerstone of international operations for the Ensign Group, Ensign said.

More in General Interest