UK’s Shale Gas Firm IGas buys Australia's Dart Energy

13.05.2014 -

UK oil and gas exploration company IGas has agreed to take over Australian rival Dart Energy in an all-share deal valuing the acquisition candidate at £117 million. At the same time, Dart shareholders will take a 30.5% stake in the enlarged IGas.

The transaction, subject to board and regulatory approvals, is scheduled to be concluded in September. It will create Britain's largest shale gas explorer.

In the words of IGas CEO Andrew Austin, the buy "further strengthens our position financially, operationally and also significantly increases our licensed acreage as we seek to unlock the untapped energy resource that exists in Britain."

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 two still independent companies already have UK shale gas farm-in agreements in place with French energy giants Total and GDF Suez. The British government is launching a major onshore licensing round in early summer, which is expected to attract huge interest in shale gas acreage.

IGas said it plans to sell all of Dart's non-UK assets, which include licence interests in Australia, Germany, Belgium, Indonesia and India. Dart will also cancel its listing on London Alternative Investment Market (AIM), which had been scheduled for May 12.