Shares of independent operator, American Oil and Gas, Inc. (NYSE-AMEX: AEZ) were up 9 percent from Tuesday’s closing price, in morning trading on Wednesday after it was announced that oil giant Hess Corp. would acquire the company in an all stock deal worth approximately $445 million. Hess primarily acquired American Oil and Gas, Inc. to expand its holdings in the Bakken oil play of North Dakota. American Oil and Gas, Inc. has properties that span about 68,500 acres in the area.
“This acquisition builds upon our strong land position in the Bakken, leverages our nearby infrastructure and offers operational synergies,” said Greg Hill, President of Worldwide Exploration and Production at Hess in a statement.
Under the terms of the agreement, AOG shareholders will receive 0.1373 shares of Hess common stock for each share they own, placing the total value of the transaction at approximately $445 million. The deal would represent a 9.4 percent premium over American Oil & Gas shares closing price of $6.69 per share on Tuesday. Hess also said it would provide American Oil & Gas with a $30 million working capital credit facility to help the company finance exploration and production activities ahead of the completion of the deal. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.
“We believe this transaction captures the value that we have been able to create since our initial entry in the North Dakota Bakken play four years ago,” said Pat O’Brien, CEO of American Oil & Gas in a statement. “We are excited about the leverage our stockholders will gain not only to Hess’ compelling Bakken position and developmental activities, but also to Hess’ large and diverse global project portfolio.”