Magnum Hunter Resources Corp., which was acquired in 2005 by Cimarex Energy Co., last week assumed its former identity with its founder back at the helm.

When the New York Stock Exchange opened last Tuesday, Houston-based Petro Resources Corp. assumed the Magnum Hunter name and changed its ticker symbol to “MHR” from “PRC.”

The company will remain headquartered in Houston and maintain its current physical location. Other than the change in name and ticker symbol, “all aspects” of the company, including its executive officers, board of directors, operating base and strategic focus to acquire and develop gas and oil properties is to continue, said CEO Gary C. Evans.

Evans, who founded and chaired the original Magnum Hunter, will lead the company. With $1,000 in seed money, he originally launched Magnum Hunter in 1984, but he put it up for sale 20 years later after announcing plans to retire (see NGI, Oct. 11, 2004). However, once the company was sold, Evans secured the rights to use the Magnum Hunter brand again. Since the sale of the former company Evans has founded GreenHunter Energy Inc., a renewable energy company, where he continues to serve as CEO and chairman. In addition, he chairs Gruy Petroleum Management LLC Inc.

After Evans was installed as chairman of Petro Resources in May, he said all of the pieces were in place to rename the company with his former company brand.

“In June 2005 Cimarex Inc. acquired the old Magnum Hunter Resources in a $2.2 billion merger transaction,” Evans noted (see NGI, Jan. 31, 2005). “The Magnum Hunter name carried significant institutional recognition on Wall Street.

“We had a tremendous 20-year run at the old Magnum Hunter in creating sequentially appreciating shareholder value. Further, we intend to bring similar disciplines we utilized so successfully at the old Magnum Hunter to the new Magnum Hunter.”

Specifically, said Evans, Magnum Hunter plans to “focus on operations and strategic property acquisition in known geologic regions of the oilpatch. Low finding and development costs, reduced operating costs and low corporate overhead are all necessary in an effort to generate superior returns to shareholders.”

Since the inception of Petro Resources in 2005, Evans said the company had been “successful in creating and expanding a balanced portfolio” mostly in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico and North Dakota. Beginning this year, he said, the company had begun to operate several of its projects and planned to operate more in the future.

“The merger and acquisition market is showing a tremendous amount of deal flow, particularly in the distressed asset arena, and we remain very optimistic that the company will have the opportunity to announce specific transactions related to these activities in the near future,” he said.

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