BPC told investors that the combination will create a “Caribbean and Atlantic margin focused oil and gas champion”.
This ‘champion’ will own stakes in five producing fields, two appraisal and development projects in Trinidad, including a brand new discovery, a high impact (800mln to +1bn barrel) exploration well in the Bahamas, and expansive frontier exploration acreage offshore Uruguay and Suriname.
The paper offer to sees Columbus shareholders receive 0.803 new BPC shares for each share they own. It is pitched at 2.57p per share which is a 11% premium to the share’s closing price on Wednesday.
That puts the Columbus value at £25.1mln, and, its shareholders will together account for nearly 24% of the new company.
BPC will retain its existing management team, with Simon Potter at the helm as chief executive, while Columbus executive chair will become a non-executive director.
Geoffrey Leid, managing director of CERP’s Trinidad subsidiary, will join BPC’s executive leadership team, meanwhile, Anthony Hawkins and Gordon Stein (CERP chief executive and finance director respectively) will terminate, but will remain available in the short-term by consultancy.
Potter highlighted that the enlarged company’s forward work programme is “largely discretionary” so management will be able to optimise ‘operational sequencing’ to make best use of its available resources.
In a statement, he added that the acquired assets are entirely complementary to its project in the Bahamas, where the Perseverance-1 well is slated later this year. According to Potter, the new company will be have multiple opportunities to create shareholder value over the next 12 - 24 months.
“In one bold step we have given ourselves a production base in Trinidad from which to generate cash, and the opportunity to leverage a range of low-cost developments via workovers, reactivations and new wells targeting shallow reservoirs, along with a range of further options for organic growth and exploration prospects,” he said.
“We also have low-cost appraisal of existing discoveries in the South West Peninsula of Trinidad to look forward to, and further infrastructure-led exploration at Weg Naar Zee in Suriname.”
Columbus’s Koot, meanwhile, added: “The combined group will create a larger, more diversified oil and gas champion for the Caribbean and South America, with assets that range across the full spectrum of oil and gas activities, from exploration through appraisal and development to production.
“The Columbus board is unanimous in its recommendation that this merger is in the best interests of Columbus shareholders and we hope you share our enthusiasm for the future of the combined entity.
“The Columbus board intends to recommend that Columbus shareholders accept the proposed transaction.”