Founder Harold Hamm clinches deal to take shale producer Continental private
Monday, October 17, 2022

Continental Resources Inc (CLR.N) said on Monday it had agreed to a sweetened offer from founder Harold Hamm to take the U.S. shale oil producer private at a valuation of about $27 billion.

Hamm, a legendary oilman who once called the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries a "toothless tiger," said in June that he wanted to take the company private because public markets have not supported the oil and gas industry.

Hamm offered $74.28 per share for the stake not owned by him and the Hamm family trust. He had proposed $70 per share in June. The company's shares jumped more than 8% to close at $74.14 on Monday and posted a total return of 67% so far in 2022.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, U.S. oil companies have retrenched, pulling back on capital investment in response to investor demands for better returns and as investment managers have shifted to fast-growing renewable sectors. U.S. oil production is still short of its all-time record set in 2019.

Continental produced 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the second quarter. The company operates primarily in North Dakota's Bakken region and Oklahoma's Anadarko; those basins are still shy of their all-time record as other operators have concentrated on the biggest shale region, the Permian in Texas and New Mexico.

Hamm founded Continental, the largest oil and gas producer in the Bakken shale, as Shelly Dean Oil Company in 1967, and ran it as a private firm until 2007.

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