Looks like the POOL (PESC) aquisition is a done deal....|
Pool, Nabors seen holding weekend deal talks
Reuters Story - January 08, 1999 17:31
By Robin Sidel
NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Pool Energy Services Co. and hostile bidder Nabors Industries Inc. are expected to spend the weekend negotiating a potential transaction ahead of a key shareholder meeting on Tuesday.
Although Pool has spent the past three months fighting Nabors' $293 million offer, the Houston-based company is expected to yield to shareholder pressure and sell itself.
Earlier this week, the two companies admitted they had held discussions, but Nabors said no other talks were scheduled.
But people familiar with both companies said it would be reasonable to assume that talks indeed were being held.
Pool is holding a special shareholder meeting Tuesday in which investors will be asked to vote on a non-binding resolution to sell the company. Although Nabors proposed the resolution after Pool rejected the offer, it does not say the company should be sold to Nabors.
Shareholders are widely expected to support the resolution, which comes as oil prices are hovering near 12-year lows.
The Nabors resolution is expected to win support from big Pool shareholder Al Gonsoulin, who holds a 10 percent stake in the company, resulting, in part, from last year's sale of Louisiana-based Sea Mar to Pool. Gonsoulin was chief executive of Sea Mar and still manages those operations for Pool.
Gonsoulin could not be reached for comment.
No other bidders are expected to emerge for Pool.
"I'm pretty optimistic that Nabors is going to win this fight. I would guess that a deal would be consummated in the near future," said William Herbert, an analyst at New Orleans-based Howard, Weil, Labouisse, Friedrichs Inc.
Pool provides maintenance services for oil and gas wells and also performs contract drilling. Nabors is a bigger player in the oil services business.
Pool declined to comment on Friday, referring only to its Monday statement that the two companies were in talks. Nabors declined comment.
Nabors, which also is based in Houston, offered in October to buy Pool for $6.125 in cash and 0.481 in Nabors shares for each of Pool's 21 million outstanding shares. Based on Friday's stock activity, the bid values Pool at about $13.95 per share.
The offer also calls for the assumption of $178 million in Pool debt.
Shares of Pool were trading Friday afternoon at $13.75 each on Nasdaq, down 6 cents from Thursday. Nabors stock was unchanged at $16.06 on the American Stock Exchange.
Industry sources have said Nabors would likely sweeten its offer to strike a friendly transaction.
"I think the assets are worth more" than the Nabors bid, said Johnson Rice & Co. analyst Joe Agular, who values Pool in the upper teens.
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