IGas buys Dart Energy to create UK's biggest shale gas explorer

A deal worth nearly £120m to create Britain’s biggest shale gas explorer was outlined on Friday with the acquisition of Dart Energy by rival IGas Energy, combining a portfolio covering one million acres of potential fracking land.

The move comes just weeks before the government is hoping to trigger a shale race by offering up a swath of fresh licences to this growing but controversial new industry.

“The transaction further strengthens our position financially and operationally, and also significantly increases our licensed acreage as we seek to unlock the untapped energy resource that exists in Britain,” said Andrew Austin, chief executive of IGas.

John McGoldrick, the boss of Dart, believed the deal would enable Dart shareholders “to participate in the long-term value creation potential of the UK shale industry, which we consider will be one of the defining energy market stories of this century”.

Investors are to receive 0.08117 IGas shares for each Dart share they own and the deal is valued at £117m. The new business will also harness the power of two joint venture partners in Total and GDF of France.

Dart is a private company that was heading towards a listing on London’s junior stock market, Aim, next week. This has now been cancelled.

The larger joint venture will tower in scale over the better-known Cuadrilla Resources, which is chaired by former BP boss Lord Browne.

IGas was at the centre of protests at its Barton Moss drilling site near Manchester. The company produces about 3,000 barrels of oil and gas a day from 110 sites across the UK while Dart holds licences to produce gas from coal seams in Scotland.

source : http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/09/igas-acquires-dart-energy-biggest-shale-gas-explorer

IGas acquires Dart Energy to create UK’s biggest shale gas explorer