November 27, 2018 / 9:15 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 2-Trinidad Drilling top execs quit as Ensign tender gets most shares

* Trinidad CEO, CFO & COO resign

* Trinidad board replaced by 5 Ensign nominees

* Precision Drilling aims for $20 mln termination fee (Adds Trinidad management resignations)

Nov 27 (Reuters) - Canada’s Ensign Energy Services Inc said on Tuesday 56.38 percent of Trinidad Drilling Ltd shares have been tendered in its hostile offer, resulting in rival bidder Precision Drilling Corp walking away and the resignation of Trinidad’s top executives.

The oilfield services provider said the tendered shares helped meet the statutory minimum condition for its C$947 million ($711.8 million) offer. Ensign now owns 66.18 percent of Trinidad shares, including the stake it previously owned.

Ensign launched the bid in August after Trinidad completed a strategic review it began in February, while North American drilling contractor Precision in October offered a deal valued at C$1.03 billion.

Trinidad board rejected the C$1.68-per-share cash bid from Ensign and instead urged shareholders to accept an all-stock offer from Precision.

Trinidad said separately on Tuesday that its top three executives resigned voluntarily and the board was replaced by five Ensign nominees.

Trinidad Drilling’s Chief Executive Officer Brent Conway and Chief Financial Officer Lesley Bolster stepped down. Ensign’s CFO Michael Gray and President Robert Geddes will be appointed as Trinidad’s CFO and President, respectively.

Geddes will also take up the role of Chief Operating Officer, which is being vacated by Adrian Lachance.

Precision said on Tuesday it was awaiting payment of the termination fee of $20 million based on its agreement with Trinidad.

The rival bids underscored how oilfield service providers are looking to cushion the impact of Canadian oil producers tapping the brakes on spending, as pipeline bottlenecks result in wide discounts for Western Canada Select heavy crude to U.S. benchmark crude. ($1 = 1.3304 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee and Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Gopakumar Warrier)

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