California Resources, an independent oil and natural-gas company, has announced its agreement to acquire Aera Energy in an all-stock transaction worth approximately $2.1 billion. This valuation includes debt and other financial commitments.
In the deal, California Resources will issue 21.2 million shares, equivalent to a 23% ownership stake in Aera Energy, to asset-management group IKAV and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The current owners of Aera Energy.
Upon completion of the acquisition, California Resources shareholders will hold a majority stake of about 77% in the combined entity, resulting in an enterprise value of around $5.6 billion.
This strategic move by California Resources will not only allow for operational synergies but also lead to the generation of significant free cash flow, which will accelerate cash returns to its shareholders. Furthermore, it will provide an opportunity to expand California Resources’ energy transition platform.
Last year, IKAV acquired Aera Energy from Exxon Mobil and Shell and subsequently sold a 49% stake in the company to Canada’s pension giant, CPPIB.