Exploration & Production

SandRidge gets 17 suitors


SandRidge Energy said it had been approached by 17 potential bidders for a buyout, including billionaire Carl Icahn who is fighting for control of the oil and gas producer’s board.

The activist investor, however, said in response he had no plans to make a bid soon, adding that any bid would depend on the approval of a majority of the unaffiliated shareholders.

Icahn has criticised SandRidge’s leadership, forced the removal of its chief executive officer and got the embattled company to back out of its planned buyout of rival Bonanza Creek Energy.

The investor, who said in April he was willing to buy the company, will now have to await a June 19 shareholder vote for directors as he seeks to revamp the board with his seven preferred nominees. Icahn holds a 13.6 per cent stake in the company, according to Thomson Reuters data.

"Some investors tip their hat to an Icahn-led board, as that might offer a quicker and possibly greater gain," said David Beard, an analyst at Coker Palmer Institutional.

"But it also seems that both management and Icahn want a higher stock price. Either way, shareholders should win."

The analyst reckoned most of the potential bidders could be from Oklahoma’s SCOOP/STACK region, a fast-growing shale oil play that is attracting investment as companies look beyond the Permian basin in Texas.

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