Ensign Beats Precision Drilling in Bidding War for Trinidad

(Bloomberg) -- Ensign Energy Services Inc., the Canadian oilfield-services company partly owned by Murray Edwards, has succeeded in its hostile bid for Trinidad Drilling Ltd.

Ensign said in a statement that 56 percent of Trinidad’s stock was tendered to its C$1.68-a-share cash offer, which expired Tuesday. The hostile bid was competing with an all-stock proposal from Precision Drilling Corp. that was valued at about C$1.45 a share, based on current stock prices.

The tender effectively ends the bidding war for Trinidad, which spurned Ensign’s unsolicited offer in September and struck a friendly deal with Precision Drilling in October. Ensign grabbed the upper hand in the contest earlier this month by moving up the expiration of its bid, all but ensuring that its cash offer would be higher than Precision’s stock bid by giving its shares little time to recover from the current market doldrums.

Edwards, who’s also chairman of oil-and-gas giant Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., is Ensign’s largest investor with about 17 percent of the shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Trinidad rose as much as 3.1 percent to C$1.68 in Toronto while Ensign fell as much as 8.7 percent.

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