The stock split will require that shareholders authorize the issuance of new shares at the Company's May 17, 2006 annual meeting. Berry's shareholders will be asked to approve an increase in the Company's authorized shares of Common Stock to 100 million from 50 million shares and the Class B stock to 3.0 million shares from 1.5 million shares. If approved, Berry's transfer agent will distribute to each holder of record as of the close of business on May 17, 2006, one additional share for every share of stock held. The split will be in the form of a stock dividend, which will be distributed on June 2, 2006. Berry's Common Stock should begin trading on a post-split basis June 5, 2006. Based on shares currently outstanding, Berry would have approximately 42.2 million shares of Common Stock and 1.8 million shares of Class B Stock outstanding following the proposed stock split.
"We have executed a successful expansion of the Company into new core operating areas achieving record operational and financial results, and we are poised to continue strong growth," said Robert Heinemann, president and chief executive officer. "We expect this stock split to expand the shareholder base of Berry and improve the trading characteristics of the stock. It is our goal to continue to deliver increases in shareholder value by improving the Company's net asset value and maximizing the cash flow and earnings of the Company."
Berry Petroleum Company is a publicly traded independent oil and gas production and exploitation company with its headquarters in Bakersfield, California and a regional office in Denver, Colorado.
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