Berkley Petroleum vows to fight Hunt Oil takeover

Berkley Petroleum corp., Calgary, says it will fight an unsolicited $1.4 billion (Can.) takeover bid by a unit of Hunt Oil Co., Dallas. Berkley president Mike Rose described the $10/share offer by Hunt as �inadequate and opportunistic� and said there is no intention of selling.


Berkley Petroleum corp., Calgary, says it will fight an unsolicited $1.4 billion (Can.) takeover bid by a unit of Hunt Oil Co., Dallas.

Berkley president Mike Rose described the $10/share offer by Hunt as �inadequate and opportunistic� and said there is no intention of selling.

A number of analysts with financial companies that hold Berkley stock also said they are reluctant to sell at the price offered by Hunt. Berkley�s stock closed at $11.10/share Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

However, Hunt officials claim their cash offer amounts to a 27% premium over Berkley�s 30-day average weighted price of $7.88/share (OGJ Online, Dec. 28, 2000). The offer includes assumption of $379 million of Berkley debt effective Sept. 30.

Market analysts expect other offers now that Hunt has opened the bidding for Berkley.

Berkley has significant natural gas holdings in western Canada, including the Fort Liard region of Canada�s Northwest territories, and is involved in a major exploration deep gas play at East Lost Hills in California�s San Joaquin Valley.

Hunt�s offer is subject to regulatory approvals and acceptance by two-thirds of Berkley shareholders. It will be open for acceptance for not less than 21 days after mailing.

Hunt lost out in a bid earlier this year for another independent, Ulster Petroleum Ltd., Calgary, when Anderson Exploration Ltd., Calgary, made a higher offer.

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