Yesterday, privately-owned Chaparral Energy, Inc. and publicly held United Refining Energy Corp. jointly announced that they have entered into a merger agreement. The combined company will be named Chaparral Energy, Inc. and will remain trading on the NYSE Amex until approval of a planned application to transfer listing to the NYSE. Once transferred, the company will use “CPR” as its symbol. The proposed transaction is valued at approximately $1.8 billion, and is expected to close by December 11, 2009.
Chaparral’s senior management team, including Chairman and CEO Mark A. Fischer; Joseph O. Evans, CFO; and Robert W. Kelly II, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, will continue to lead the company through this merger. John A. Catsimatidis, URX’s current CEO and Chairman, will act as the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of the combined company.
Founded in 1988, Chaparral has developed a substantial asset base of long-lived oil and gas properties. The company has a large inventory of low-risk exploitation opportunities and near-term, high-potential drilling projects. Since 2003, management has increased Chaparral’s reserves and production by approximately 21% per year. As of June 2009, Chaparral’s proved reserves were 146 million barrels of oil equivalent, 62% of which is oil. The average daily production for the first half of 2009 was 21,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Chaparral’s CEO Mark Fischer commented, “I believe the proposed merger with Chaparral is a great deal for URX shareholders. We have spent almost two years looking for the right target for our SPAC, and I believe this is the best opportunity that we have considered. Chaparral’s management team has demonstrated the ability to find lucrative oil and gas properties at prices that have resulted in superior returns on investment. With the additional capital provided by the proposed merger, I believe Chaparral will be even more successful. I am pleased to present this business opportunity to the URX shareholders for approval.”
Fischer continued, “This merger with URX will allow us to achieve our strategic goal of becoming a publicly traded company on one of the major stock exchanges. This merger will give Chaparral access to capital we need to exploit our large inventory of drilling and development opportunities and to significantly step up our EOR program.”
Chaparral estimates 2009 production levels at approximately 7.6 million barrels of oil equivalent, and looking ahead, projects 2010 production to reach approximately 9.9 million barrels of oil equivalent, a 30% increase over 2009. Its 2010 capital expenditures will be funded through discretionary cash flow, anticipated at around $250 million, and additional liquidity provided by the combination with URX.
Chaparral has achieved its extensive growth through acquiring and enhancing properties in its core areas of the Mid-Continent and the Permian Basin, as well as in the Gulf Coast, the Ark-La-Tex region, North Texas and the Rocky Mountains. The company aims to pursue a growth strategy through a mix of development drilling, acquisitions, operating improvements, enhanced oil recovery projects and select exploration projects.