Ranger board rejects Petrobank offer


CALGARY�The battle by Ranger Oil Ltd. against a $1.6 billion (Can.) unsolicited takeover bid by Petrobank Energy & Resources Ltd. is now being fought in a US court and with Canadian securities regulators.


CALGARY�The battle by Ranger Oil Ltd. against a $1.6 billion (Can.) unsolicited takeover bid by Petrobank Energy & Resources Ltd. is now being fought in a US court and with Canadian securities regulators.

The board of directors of Ranger Oil Ltd. rejected the $1.6 billion (Can.) offer, claiming that it doesn't reflect the value of Ranger's assets and future prospects, including the value of Ranger's reserves at current prices. The much smaller Petrobank already holds a 5.4% stake in Ranger.

To prevent Petrobank from continuing with a tender offer that expires May 12, Ranger has accused Petrobank and two its senior executives in a US court of �massive tipping and insider trading� in connection with the takeover bid. Similar complaints have been filed with Canadian regulators. Petrobank says the suit is without merit and the company has not abused or mishandled the shareholder process.

The Ranger suit claims that its shareholders may have been harmed by the accumulation of shares by Petrobank and its executives through private Caribou Capital Corp., and it wants those transactions investigated. Ranger claims Caribou bought 4.9 million Ranger shares in the weeks before a tender offer.

Petrobank unveiled its takeover bid for the larger company Apr. 6. In response, Ranger Pres. and CEO Fred Dyment said Ranger shareholders would be better served by other merger or acquisition possibilities. The process of seeking such options is under way and moving forward on schedule, Dyment says.

For this purpose, Ranger has opened data rooms in Calgary and the UK. Dyment said several interested parties have signed confidentiality agreements and are accessing the data rooms. Ranger said it and its financial advisors are already making contact with prospective buyers in Canada, the US, the UK, and elsewhere, who might be interested in merging with or acquiring Ranger.

Ranger and Petrobank are based in Calgary.

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