TGS to acquire Spectrum

Source: press release, 2 May 2019

illustration: TGS
illustration: TGS

TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA (TGS) has announced that it has agreed on the principle terms for the acquisition of Spectrum ASA, creating a global provider of 2D and 3D seismic data.

The transaction is expected to be completed as a statutory merger pursuant to Norwegian corporate law between TGS and Spectrum, with merger consideration to Spectrum shareholders in the form of 0.28x ordinary shares of TGS for each Spectrum share, in addition to a cash consideration of USD 0.27 multiplied by the Exchange Ratio subject to the transaction closing after the ex-date for the TGS dividend payable in Q3 2019 (expected to be early August 2019). The Exchange Ratio and the cash consideration imply a transaction share price of Spectrum of NOK 61.9 per share (based on closing of the TGS share on 2 May 2019), corresponding to a market capitalisation of NOK 3,671 million (USD 422 million) on a fully diluted basis. The transaction is supported by the board of directors of each of the companies, as well as Spectrum shareholders representing more than 34.1% who have given their support to the transaction and agreed to vote their shares in favour thereof. Definitive merger documents are expected to be entered into during May, with closing of the transaction expected during the third quarter of 2019 following shareholder approvals in EGM and regulatory clearance.

The transaction will enhance TGS’ position as a multi-client geophysical data provider with a 2D and 3D seismic data library covering all major mature and frontier basins world-wide. Spectrum has successfully built a substantial presence in the South Atlantic and other important frontier regions. With TGS’ extensive library and financial robustness, the combined entity will be well positioned to accelerate 3D seismic investment plans in an improving market. Furthermore, the combined libraries will have a scale that will help accelerate TGS’ data analytics strategy.

In addition to providing a platform for further profitable growth, the combination will benefit from significant cost synergies with a preliminary estimate of approximately USD 20 million annually.

“Spectrum has successfully built a strong position in key offshore basins, particularly in the South Atlantic. The transaction thus fits well with one of TGS’s key strategic goals of growing exposure to this region. Moreover, Spectrum’s library, and in particular the vast 2D coverage, further adds to TGS’s strategy within data analytics, where access to large amounts of data is a key success factor. TGS remains committed to maintain the existing dividend policy and emphasises that the strong cash position, the combination of two free cash flow positive entities and significant cost synergies, will enable continued industry leading shareholder returns,” says Kristian Johansen, Chief Executive Officer of TGS.

“The strategic combination of TGS and Spectrum will form a stronger and better company with a world class data library, people and opportunities. We look forward to joining forces with TGS. There are strong strategic benefits from combining the companies, and we believe we can enhance our growth as part of a larger combined company,” states Rune Eng, President & Chief Executive Officer of Spectrum.

“Over the past years, Spectrum has been through a growth phase with particular focus on establishing profitable positions in non-mature exploration basins, especially along the Atlantic margin. TGS’ interest in Spectrum is a manifestation of the solid position built by the Spectrum organisation over a long time. Being ready for the next phase of the strategic growth plan, TGS is an excellent match, with its asset-light multi-client strategy and strong balance sheet. Altor Fund IV are proud to be part of creating a leading multi-client company, with a strong presence in all the major basins and superior cash generation capabilities,” says Pål Stampe, Chairman of the board of Spectrum and partner at Altor Equity Partners, the investment advisor to Altor Fund IV.