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Rift Oil agrees to Talisman’s 114.8 mln stg bid

Posted on: June 16, 2009


Reuters – Wednesday, June 17

* Rift agrees to be bought for 13p/shr

* Says bid represents 30 percent premium

* Rift shares soar 25 pct

June 16 – British oil and gas explorer Rift Oil Plc <RIFT.L> said it agreed to be acquired by Canada’s Talisman Energy Inc <TLM.TO> <TLM.N> in a cash deal valued at about 114.8 million pounds

The 13 pence-per-share cash bid from Talisman, Canada’s third-largest exploration and production company, represents a 30 percent premium to Rift Oil’s close of 10 pence on Monday.

Separately, Rift Oil said about 14.7 million shares had been issued to its financial adviser, RBC Capital Markets Ltd, pursuant to the exercise of warrants.

Rift Oil said its current cash position will be about 700,000 pounds, including the exercise of RBC’s warrants, but added that it would need to raise capital to fund its work commitments on its licence block in Papua New Guinea and ongoing overheads if the Talisman deal did not go through.

Rift Oil said investors holding 32.3 percent of shares have agreed to back the Talisman deal.

“The acquisition will provide a low-cost opportunity to aggregate gas in Southeast Asia, one of the growth areas of our portfolio,” Talisman said.

In Southeast Asia, Talisman has doubled its production in the past five years and is positioned to grow annually at 10 percent over the next few years.

Rift Oil shares rose 25 percent to 12.5 pence at 1046 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.

 (Reporting by Balachander Surianarayanan in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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