SandRidge Says Approached by 17 Potential Buyers, Including Icahn
SandRidge Energy Inc said on Friday it had been approached by 17 potential bidders for a buyout, including billionaire Carl Icahn who is fighting for control of the oil and gas producer's board.
Icahn has criticized SandRidge's leadership, forced the removal of its chief executive officer and got the company to back out of its planned buyout of rival Bonanza Creek Energy Inc .
The investor, who said in April he was willing to buy the company, will now have to battle 16 other potential suitors even as he seeks to revamp the board with his seven preferred nominees.
"Some investors tip their hat to an Icahn-lead board, as that might offer a quicker and possibly greater gain," said David Beard, an analyst at Coker Palmer Institutional.
"But it also seems that both management and Icahn want a higher stock price. Either way, shareholders should win."
The analyst reckoned most of the potential bidders could be from Oklahoma's SCOOP/STACK region, a fast-growing shale oil play that is attracting investment as companies look beyond the Permian basin in Texas.
Devon Energy, Marathon Oil Corp and smaller producers such as Colorado's Cimarex Energy are some of the major players in the SCOOP/STACK region.
SandRidge, which has a market value of $544 million, sees most of its production coming from the north west STACK region. Its stock has risen about 18 percent since Icahn disclosed his buyout interest in April.
Earlier this month, the oil and gas producer said proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc (ISS) recommended SandRidge shareholders should vote for the board the company's board nominees.
The annual shareholders meeting is slated for next Tuesday.
SandRidge also said Midstates Petroleum, whose all-stock bid was rejected by the company in March, did not agree to its confidentiality terms, even after month long negotiations with the smaller rival. SandRidge had rejected an all-stock bid from Midstates Petroleum in March.
The company's shares were slightly higher in early morning trade.
Reporting by Akshara P and Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru