Pe Ben board resists Mullen acquisition bid

EDMONTON — Pe Ben Oilfield Services’ board has unanimously recommended shareholders reject a hostile takeover bid by Mullen Group Income Fund.

The board is telling shareholders that Mullen’s offer for the company is “financially inadequate, opportunistic and fails to recognize the value of Pe Ben’s assets and future prospects.” It added that the bid was also “coercive” and didn’t allow enough time for the board to assess the offer and develop alternatives.

Mullen intends to acquire all the outstanding shares of the Edmonton-based oilfield and pipeline services firm for about $12 a share. The Alberta trucking giant currently owns about 10 percent of shares in Pe Ben.

According to Canadian Press, Pe Ben shareholders representing a 56 percent stake in the company have provided written confirmation that they will not tender their shares to the Mullen offer.

Pe Ben is “aggressively pursuing alternatives to the Mullen offer and believes that a transaction financially superior to the offer can be reasonably expected.”

Mullen has purchased several oilfield services and drilling companies over the last year.

In August, Pe Ben acquired KED Oilfield Services, which specializes in the transportation, material handling and storage of oil country tubular products, along with pile driving services and pile pipe sales. The company has 20 specialized oilfield power units, 56 oilfield transport trailers, 5 light vehicles, miscellaneous equipment and pipe inventory.

— with files from Canadian Press

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