America’s richest oilman Harold Hamm wants to take his company Continental Resources private

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Shares of Continental Resources Inc. they rose nearly 15 percent on Tuesday after pioneer and billionaire Harold Hamm offered to privatize the $ 4 billion shale oil and gas company he founded.

Continental CLR,
+ 13.84%
Earlier Tuesday, he said Hamm and his family had offered the company a private $ 70 per share, a 9% premium on Monday’s closing price and a 21% premium on the average price. of this year’s actions.

Shares were at their highest close since Sept. 17, 2014, when they closed at $ 75.82.

The family already owns about 83% of the Oklahoma City-based company. The offer is not binding and will be evaluated by the board.

That could leave the door open for peer-to-peer bidding, Truist analysts said in a note Tuesday.

The company is worth “at least our target price of $ 95 per share,” analysts said.

It will be “worth seeing” what a potential external bidder will offer for the company, although in a letter to employees, Hamm assured that there will be few changes in compensation and operations, which “slightly reduces the expectation of a winning external bid, “analysts said.

In the same letter, Hamm, who founded the company in 1967, said there was a lack of support for public oil and gas companies and that a private model would allow for more flexibility, especially around exploration.

A non-binding bid “has room for negotiation,” Siebert Williams Shank analysts said in a statement. Analysts, who have a target price of $ 80 on the shares, said they expect the shares to trade around the $ 70 private offering.

Hamm, the richest oil company in the United States and the 63rd richest American, according to Forbes, and his family have owned more than 70 percent since the company went public in 2007.

They increased their holdings through falls and, more recently, through repurchases, Cowen analysts said in a note.

Hamm resigned as CEO of Continental in 2019, but remained as chairman.

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