WildHorse Resource Development Corp. has been a quiet, but determined, acquisition machine in the past few months, rolling up more than 170,000 net acres of Eagle Ford acreage in three deals.
The deals are valued at more than $400 million.
However, closing them is somewhat dependent on how successfully WildHorse rolls out its IPO, which it submitted to regulators on Nov. 10. WildHorse has penciled in proceeds of $650 million from an offering on its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.
In late October, the first U.S. E&P company to successfully launch an IPO came two years after the downturn in commodity prices began. Extraction Oil & Gas Inc. (NASDAQ: XOG) launched an IPO that put the company’s value at more than $3 billion.
While analysts and experts had predicted private Permian companies to launch IPOs, Extraction is focused on the Denver-Julesburg (D-J) Basin, while WildHorse is split between the Eagle Ford and Cotton Valley Formation.
WildHorse is headed by Jay Graham, who led Memorial Resource Development Corp. through its $4.2 billion merger with Range Resources Corp. (NYSE: RRC). The company has backing from Natural Gas Partners (NGP).
WildHorse has pegged recent acquisitions to the IPO, including a $400 million deal with Clayton Williams Energy Inc. (NYSE: CWEI). WildHorse agreed to buy its acreage for about $1,500 per acre at an assumed price of $40,000 per flowing boe/d, Seaport Global Securities said in an Oct. 25 report.
SEC filings said that the acquisition, which is adjacent to WildHorse's acreage, is expected to be funded before or at the same time as its IPO. The company has put down a $45 million deposit and plans to use “a portion of the proceeds from [the IPO] to fund the remaining price.”
In September, the company also agreed to purchase 7,500 net acres of Eagle Ford working interests in Lee County, Texas. The deal is set to close with the close of the IPO, with shares paid to third parties as consideration.
Most recently, in November, WildHorse also agreed to acquire acreage in Burleson County, Texas, from an undisclosed buyer for about $30 million.
WildHorse’s 2016 capex is $144.3 million. The company has spent about $99.8 million through Sept. 30.
As of Sept. 30, WildHorse owned about 266,500 net acres in the Eagle Ford Shale and 108,000 acres in and around the Terryville Complex in North Louisiana.
WildHorse is running a one-rig program on the Eagle Ford acreage and plans to add a rig in North Louisiana later this year.
In 2017, the company’s capex will inflate to just under $602 million. WildHorse plans to run four rigs in the Eagle Ford and two in Louisiana. Roughly $420 million will be spent in the Eagle Ford to drill 73 net wells.
The company plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “WRD.”
Barclays Capital Inc., Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. and BMO Capital Markets Corp. are representatives of the underwriters and the book-running managers of the offering.
Darren Barbee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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