Delek bids $524m for rest of Aberdeen’s Ithaca

Israel’s Delek Group said it offered to buy the 80% of Aberdeen-based oil and gas operator Ithaca Energy it doesn’t already own for about $524 million in cash.

Delek said the offer valued Ithaca at around $647 million.

Ithaca’s shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in London.

Delek already owns 19.7% of Ithaca’s shares.

Ithaca said its board had recommended the Delek offer of C$1.95 per share, a premium of about 12% to Ithaca’s closing price on Friday.

The deal is conditional on more than 50% of shares not held by Delek accepting the offer.

Delek Group CEO Asaf Bartfeld said: “Today, we are taking another significant step which, if successful, will firmly establish Delek Group as a global E&P company, with international oil and gas assets and strong operational capabilities.

“The Ithaca transaction will substantially strengthen our international operational arm, and is a synergistic step to our existing activities.

“We believe Ithaca will contribute to our continued growth and we look forward to reinforcing and building on our status in international markets.”

Ithaca chairman Brad Hurtubise said: “We are very pleased to announce the offer, which provides an attractive opportunity for all shareholders to secure a premium cash value for their investment following a sustained period of share price growth and at a favourable point in the company’s evolution.

“A special committee of independent directors has fully assessed the offer, with input from the company’s financial advisor and an independent valuator, and believes the offer is fair and in the best interest of the company and its shareholders and unanimously recommends that the shareholders tender their shares to the offer.”

Ithaca Chief Executive Les Thomas told Reuters: “This is a full and fair offer from a very credible buyer who have the financial resources to complete the transaction.

“They are knowledgeable, they are credible, they can back up the offer and complete the transaction.”