Wilks Brothers plans to launch hostile bid to take over Calfrac

Texas-based investor Wilks Brothers LLC said Tuesday it plans to launch a hostile bid to take over Calfrac Well Services.

It’s the latest salvo in a fight for control of one of Canada’s largest oilfield service companies.

Earlier on Tuesday, Calgary-based Calfrac said a U.S. court had sided with it in its fight with Wilks as it seeks to complete its recapitalization plan, by recognizing its reorganization proceedings underway in an Alberta court. 

But Tuesday evening, Wilks said it will offer 18 cents per share of Calfrac shares — up three cents from Tuesday’s closing price. 

It’s not the first time Wilks, owned by U.S. oil billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks, has made a bid for Calfrac’s U.S. operations, but previous bids were rejected. 

The battle for Calfrac has pitched debtholders against shareholders, with the company noting its proposal has the backing of 78 per cent of holders of senior unsecured notes and Wilks, which owns almost 20 per cent of the shares, urging fellow shareholders to turn down the deal.

Calfrac has called Wilks Brothers, which owns U.S. oilfield services rival ProFrac Services, a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” whose real goal is a corporate takeover.

The reorganization under the Canada Business Corporations Act must be supported by two-thirds of Calfrac’s debtholders and shareholders to proceed. Votes are to be held Sept. 17.

Wilks said in a release that its bid circular and related materials will be mailed to shareholders of Calfrac in the next 10 days. 

“The premium offer simply guarantees Calfrac shareholders a superior recovery if Calfrac continues to push ahead with its inferior and conflict-ridden transaction and fails to implement it,” Tuesday’s release said. 

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