Shareholder Wilks Brothers to launch hostile bid for Calfrac

(Reuters) - Calfrac Well Services CFW.TO investor Wilks Brothers LLC said on Tuesday it would launch a hostile C$26.13 million ($20 million) takeover bid for one of Canada's largest oilfield service providers.

Wilks Brothers has offered 18 Canadian cents per share for the Calfrac shares it does not already own, a 3 Canadian cent premium over Tuesday’s closing price.

The investor, which owns a 19.8% stake in Calfrac according to Refinitiv data, previously submitted a restructuring plan to reduce the company’s debt in exchange for a majority of its equity.

But Calfrac’s board recommended shareholders reject the proposal and vote instead for the company’s own debt reduction plan.

Calfrac’s market value has plunged this year due to a collapse in drilling activity following an oil price rout sparked by coronavirus-related lockdowns.

Wilks Brothers, led by oil billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks, has been acquiring stakes in hard-hit U.S. service firms, previously making two bids for Calfrac’s U.S. operations that were rejected.

The company said it would keep Calfrac “intact” if its latest takeover bid was accepted by shareholders.

Calfrac could not be immediately reached for comment.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Sriraj Kalluvila