Oklahoma City-based SandRidge Energy Inc., dogged by Carl Icahn and facing financial pressures, has at least 26 confidentiality agreements with parties “actively pursuing” a potential transaction to buy the company outright or specific assets in the U.S. onshore.
SandRidge said it also had 16 offers for only the North Park assets in Colorado.
Following the annual meeting in late June, Icahn Enterprises LP managing director Jonathan Frates was appointed chairman. However, Carl Icahn, who became the largest shareholder last year and pursued the makeover, does not plan to submit an offer.
“The company is continuing to negotiate with three additional parties to execute confidentiality agreements, and all but one of those potential additional participants are focused solely on the North Park assets,” management said. “Many of the previously entered confidentiality agreements involve entities contemplating reverse merger transactions.”
Following an annual meeting late last month, the newly reconstituted board was digesting how best to maximize value for all of the shareholders.
“With that in mind, the company is undertaking a strategic review process to determine which avenues would maximize value for the company, which could include a sale of the company or significant assets of the company. All potential bidders will be encouraged to participate in the process, which will include an expanded group of participants.”
RBC Capital Markets LLC, which previously was retained to pursue and assist in evaluating sale possibilities, has been reaffirmed by SandRidge to increase the number of potential bidders, including foreign entities, which had previously not been pursued.
“The company is emphasizing openness” to asset sale proposals and offers that “would result in a sale of the entire company,” management said. A previously announced June 25 deadline for submitting bids has been extended.
The board is undertaking a complete review and plans a comprehensive assessment of the capital expenditure program and drilling program. The company also plans to review its “expense footprint” and is reevaluating the hedging program.
Frates, who now chairs the company, has specialized in energy investments for Icahn Enterprises since November 2015. Prior to joining Icahn, Frates was a senior business analyst at First Acceptance Corp. He began his career as an investment banking analyst at Wachovia Securities LLC.
The company said it has entered into a confidentiality agreement with Icahn and has agreed provide its representatives “board observer rights” that could be terminated at any time and subject to limited exceptions.