Continental Resources Accepts Hamm’s Go-Private Offer

Billionaire-founder boosts his original offer made in June to secure the deal.

Source: Getty Images

US shale independent Continental Resources has agreed to be taken private by its billionaire-founder Harold Hamm.

The Oklahoma City-based company said 17 October that it had entered into a merger agreement to be acquired by the Hamm-owned Omega Acquisition for $74.28 per share, up from the $70.00 per share first proposed by Hamm in June.

Based on the shares outstanding as of 12 October, the tender offer would be for approximately 58 million shares of common stock, according to the Continental release.

The deal would value the shale producer at about $27 billion, according to a Reuters report.

Hamm founded Continental in 1967, helping the company become one of the largest oil producers in the Bakken and SCOOP/STACK plays. Hamm took Continental public in 2007.

Through his lobbying work with the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, which he co-founded, Hamm was a key player in the lifting of the US ban on crude oil exports. He is considered a pioneer in shale drilling, popularizing the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to boost production in the Bakken.

Hamm currently serves as chairman of Continental's board of directors. He and the rest of the Hamm family collectively own approximately 83% of Continental's common stock.

Continental is the largest leaseholder and the largest producer in the Bakken play of North Dakota and Montana, according to the release.

Continental also claims to be the largest producer in the Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma. The company also has newly acquired positions in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Permian Basin of West Texas.

Continental’s board of directors, acting on the unanimous recommendation of a special committee consisting solely of independent and disinterested directors, has approved the merger agreement and recommended that Continental’s shareholders tender their shares of common stock pursuant to the tender offer.

The merger transaction does not require a vote by Continental’s shareholders and is currently expected to close prior to year-end.