Enerplus Corp. completed its $465 million cash acquisition of private Williston Basin operator Bruin E&P Partners LLC on March 10, expanding its position in the Bakken shale play.

The Calgary, Alberta-headquartered company had announced it had entered the agreement to acquire Bruin, based in Houston, in January. In the announcement, the company said that the acquisition of Bruin, which held 151,000 net acres in the Williston Basin, included 30,000 net acres contiguous with its tier 1 acreage position in the Bakken plus significant production and development inventory concentrated in the Fort Berthold area.

“With immediately adjacent acreage offering strong operational synergies, Bruin’s assets are highly complementary to our existing tier 1 position in the Bakken and will enable us to accelerate free cash flow growth and further support our focus on providing long term sustainable shareholder returns,” said Ian C. Dundas, president and CEO of Enerplus, in a statement on Jan. 25 commenting on the deal.

Enerplus Bruin Williston Basin Map (Source: CNW Group/Enerplus Corp.)
Enerplus Bruin Williston Basin Map (Source: CNW Group/Enerplus Corp.)

The purchase of Bruin was funded by Enerplus fully drawing its new three-year $400 million term facility, along with a portion of the proceeds from an equity offering completed on Feb. 3.

According to the March 10 release, Enerplus remains undrawn on its $600 million bank credit facility.

Bruin E&P Partners formed in 2015 with backing from private equity-firm ArcLight Capital Partners LLC. The company and its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020 and emerged about a month later following a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring that the company said equalized a substantial majority of its funded debt of over $840 million.

Enerplus said it will not assume any debt of Bruin as part of the acquisition.

Stifel FirstEnergy was financial adviser to Enerplus for the Bruin acquisition. Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. and TD Securities were its strategic advisers. Meanwhile, Vinson & Elkins LLP was U.S. legal adviser to Enerplus for the acquisition and financings. Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP also acted as legal adviser to Enerplus on the acquisition and financings.

Enerplus also has a position in the Marcellus natural gas shale play in northeast Pennsylvania and a group of oil assets under secondary and tertiary recovery in western Canada.