Halliburton Co. late Friday agreed to buy pressure control services provider Boots & Coots in a cash-and-stock transaction worth an estimated $240.4 million.

Houston-based Boots & Coots has two core businesses: Pressure Control, which involves prevention and risk control services for well fires and blowouts; and Well Intervention, which enhances production for natural gas and oil operators. The well intervention business is expected to benefit Halliburton in the trend toward more unconventional shale resource plays.

Halliburton’s Marc Edwards said drilling for unconventional natural gas “requires increasing levels of pressure control and well intervention,” which Boots & Coots would be able to provide.

The merger, expected to be completed this summer, allows Halliburton to expand a product service line that would combine its coiled tubing and hydraulic workover operations with Boots & Coots’ pressure control business and oilwell fire intervention services.

In the agreement Boots & Coots shareholders would receive about $3 for each share they own, with $1.73 in cash and $1.27 in Halliburton common stock. The combined price is 28% higher than Boots & Coots’ closing price on Friday.

Edward “Coots” Matthews, who died in March at 86, and Asger “Boots” Hansen were oilwell firefighters who worked for the legendary Paul “Red” Adair. The three were portrayed in the 1968 movie Hellfighters starring John Wayne as Adair. Among their more famous exploits was an Algerian oilwell fire in 1962, as well as a North Sea blowout in 1977 at the Ekofisk Bravo platform offshore Norway.

Matthews and Hansen, who were fired and rehired several times by Adair, started Boots & Coots in 1978.

After forming their company, Hansen and Matthews reportedly sent thank-you notes to Adair for “helping” them to start their own business. By the time Adair died in 1984, the three were again said to be good friends. In 1991 Boots & Coots worked with Red Adair Service and Marine, as well as Canada’s Safety Boss, to extinguish 700 well fires started in Kuwait by the retreating Iraqi forces of Saddam Hussein.

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