Enerplus and Focus Close Strategic Merger
Enerplus Resources Fund ("Enerplus") and Focus Energy Trust ("Focus") are pleased to announce that the merger of Enerplus and Focus pursuant to a plan of arrangement (the "Arrangement") was completed Feb. 13.
The combination of Focus and Enerplus has created a large oil and gas producer that possesses high quality, long life assets with an extensive portfolio of resource play opportunities in shallow natural gas, Bakken light oil, crude oil waterfloods, deep tight gas and the oil sands. Enerplus Unitholders will enjoy a diversified and balanced portfolio of oil and gas assets producing approximately 100,000 BOE/day with a proved plus probable reserve life index of approximately 14 years. At this time we are pleased to announce that over 90% of Focus employees excluding executives will be joining the Enerplus organization, providing continuity in the management of the Focus assets. Production levels and capital spending activities continue to be in line with our previous estimates and we believe that all unitholders will benefit from the combination of Focus and Enerplus through a larger, strong and more efficient trust. Additional benefits are expected to be derived from increased liquidity and a strong balance sheet that will facilitate further expansion of operations and which is anticipated to receive increased attention in both equity and debt capital markets.
Under the Arrangement, Focus Unitholders received 0.425 of an Enerplus trust unit for each Focus trust unit exchanged. This transaction is expected to be completed on a tax-deferred basis for Canadian resident Focus Unitholders although they were permitted to elect to participate in the transaction on a taxable basis for Canadian federal income tax purposes. Holders of Focus Limited Partnership Class B units ("Focus Exchangeable LP Units") did not exchange their Focus Exchangeable LP Units for Enerplus trust units pursuant to the Arrangement, but following the Arrangement, the Focus Exchangeable LP Units are now exchangeable for Enerplus trust units on the basis of 0.425 of an Enerplus trust unit for each Focus Exchangeable LP Unit. The voting rights attached to and cash distributions made on the Focus Exchangeable LP Units will be similarly adjusted in accordance with such exchange ratio.
Focus securityholders of record on January 31, 2008 will still receive the scheduled Focus distribution on February 15, 2008 of $0.14 per Focus trust unit and Focus LP Exchangeable Unit. The first distribution that former Focus securityholders will be eligible to receive from Enerplus will be the distribution payable on or about March 20, 2008 to Enerplus Unitholders and Focus Exchangeable LP Unitholders of record on March 10, 2008.
In conjunction with the closing of the acquisition, Enerplus has increased the size of its syndicated bank credit facility by $400 million to $1.4 billion. The facility continues to be unsecured, covenant based with a revolving three-year term.
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- Enerplus and Focus Close Strategic Merger (Feb 13)