Boards of Talos Energy and Stone Energy have approved the combination of the two companies in an all-stock transaction that will create a “premier offshore-focused exploration and production company.”
The company will be named Talos Energy, Inc. and is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the new ticker symbol “TALO.”
Under the terms of the transaction, each outstanding share of Stone common stock will be exchanged for one share of Talos Energy, Inc. common stock and the current Talos stakeholders will be issued an aggregate of approximately 34.2 million common shares, the two companies said in a statement on Tuesday.
At closing, Talos stakeholders will own 63% of the combined company, with Stone shareholders owning the remaining 37%. Based on Stone’s stock price of $35.49 on November 20, 2017 and the terms of the proposed transaction, Talos Energy, Inc. will have an initial equity market capitalization of approximately $1.9 billion and an enterprise value of approximately $2.5 billion.
“This combination represents an important step in our goal of becoming the premier offshore exploration and production (E&P) company. We will have two core areas in the Deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico Deepwater and the outstanding new Zama discovery located in the shallow waters of offshore Mexico,” stated Timothy S. Duncan, Talos’s Chief Executive Officer.
“The combined talent, technical resources and balance sheet of the resulting company will allow us to accelerate development of our own robust project inventory while also giving us the horsepower to pursue compelling transactional and exploration opportunities. We fully expect to achieve material operating synergies and maximize capital efficiency going forward. This transaction is a tremendous opportunity for both Talos and Stone as we create a Gulf of Mexico frontrunner.”
Neal P. Goldman, Stone’s Chairman, stated, “This transaction represents the successful culmination of Stone’s previously announced strategic review process and is a compelling opportunity for our shareholders to benefit from the significant upside and synergies of the combined company. Talos Energy, Inc. will have substantial scale, important asset diversification and a talented management team, along with the strong financial position to continue to grow value for our combined shareholder base. I am very proud of Stone’s success in growing shareholder value since its financial restructuring in February 2017 and I am confident Tim will lead the combined company to even greater success.”
James M. Trimble, Stone’s Interim Chief Executive Officer and President, stated, “I want to thank our employees for their focus and dedication in positioning Stone for this important transaction. The team’s management of Stone’s assets and business in a safe and environmentally responsible manner will continue our success for the combined shareholder base. The combined company will be strategically positioned to drive meaningful production growth through complementary acreage positions. We look forward to this partnership with Tim and the Talos team.”
The two companies noted that the combination will create an offshore independent E&P company and a leader in the Gulf of Mexico with a large, high quality asset base and leading cost profile. The combined company will have estimated 2017 average daily production of approximately 47 Mboe and proved reserves of 136 MMboe as of June 30, 2017 based on SEC prices.
The combined company will also benefit froma deep inventory of identified exploration and development prospects and a significant acreage footprint in the Gulf of Mexico, including over 1.2 million combined gross acres, of which approximately 160,000 acres is offshore Mexico. The Zama oil discovery, operated by Talos, was the first private sector offshore exploration well in the history of Mexico and was previously disclosed as having between 1.4 billion and 2.0 billion gross barrels of original oil in place. Additionally, the combined company expects to achieve up to $25 million in annual pre-tax synergies from supply chain management and other operational efficiencies by year end 2018.
The new company will have increased financial flexibility, in part through its expected new $1 billion credit facility with an expected $600 million in initial borrowing capacity, and no material long term note maturities until 2022. Upon closing, the combined company’s pro forma unrestricted cash, undrawn credit facility and ability to access public capital markets will provide flexibility to pursue additional attractive growth opportunities. The combined company is expected to have a pro forma net debt-to-2017E EBITDA ratio of 1.4x and approximately $325 million to $375 million in liquidity at closing. Talos Energy, Inc. will be well-positioned as the counterparty of choice for drilling and consolidation opportunities in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Timothy S. Duncan, Talos’s Chief Executive Officer, will be Chief Executive Officer of Talos Energy, Inc. with additional members of current Talos and Stone management serving in other key leadership roles.
The combined company’s Board of Directors will be comprised of ten members, including six members designated by Talos and four members designated by Stone from its current Board of Directors. Neal P. Goldman will serve as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Talos Energy, Inc. will be headquartered in Houston, with additional offices in Lafayette and New Orleans.
Completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of Stone shareholders, consent of a majority of the unaffiliated holders of Stone’s 7.50% Senior Secured Notes due 2022 and successful completion of an exchange of the Stone notes for Talos notes, certain regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.
Franklin Advisers, Inc. and MacKay Shields LLC, as investment managers for approximately 53% of the outstanding shares of Stone as of September 30, 2017, have entered into voting agreements to vote in favor of the transaction, subject to certain conditions.
The transaction is expected to close in late first quarter or early in the second quarter of 2018.