Vitol Anker International B.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Vitol Group, announced that it intends to make an offer to buy all of the outstanding common shares of Canada’s oil company Sterling Resources Ltd., not beneficially owned by Vitol Anker and its affiliates, for cash consideration of $0.85 per share in a transaction which values the fully diluted share capital of Sterling at approximately $192 million.
Background to the Offer
Vitol and its affiliates provided a US$12 million loan to Sterling in early January to enable the Company to meet its short-term liquidity obligations. Since that time, Vitol says it has held discussions with Sterling’s management and, based on the Company’s inability to find an acceptable long-term financing solution, Vitol Anker has decided to pursue an offer for the Company.
“Vitol has held discussions with Sterling’s board of directors (the “Sterling Board”) with a view to secure a board-supported transaction but these discussions have, to date, not led to an agreement. Given continuing rumours and uncertainty around the Company and its financial situation, Vitol Anker has made the decision to disclose its intentions,” Vitol said in a statement.
Premium of 79%
The price to be paid in the Offer represents an attractive premium of: 79% to Sterling’s closing price on February 12, 2013, the last business day prior to this announcement; and 48% to Sterling’s 20-day volume-weighted average price as at February 12, 2013.
In response to Vitol’s intentions Sterling Resources said it would review the offer to be made by Vitol, but added it would also continue to review available alternatives, including negotiating a mutually acceptable arrangement with Vitol.
Sterling, a Canadian-listed international oil and gas company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta with assets in the United Kingdom, Romania, France and the Netherlands, also advised its shareholders to take no further action concerning the Vitol offer until they have received further advice from the Board.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, February 13, 2013