IGas to buy Dart Energy, creating UK’s largest shale gas explorer

The boards of IGas Energy Plc and Dart Energy Ltd. have reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended acquisition by IGas of Dart, which values the total share capital of Dart at approximately A$211.5 million on a fully diluted basis [being equivalent to £117.1 million ($198.35 million)]. Reuters noted that the acquisition will create UK’s largest shale gas explorer weeks before the launch of a major licensing round.

The takeover will give IGas access to over 1 million acres of licensed land in Britain under which it can drill for oil and gas, including major shale gas sites. The Reuters report said that IGas and Dart already have UK shale gas farm-in agreements in place with French energy companies Total and GDF Suez, respectively, giving major oil and gas company backing to the new entity.

The British government is launching a major onshore licensing round in the early summer, which is expected to attract huge interest in shale gas acreage. IGas plans to sell all of Dart’s non-UK assets, including license interests in Australia, Germany, Belgium, Indonesia, and India. Additionally, Dart will cancel its listing on London Alternative Investment Market (AIM), which had been scheduled for May 12.

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