Eclipse Resources Merging with Former Magnum Hunter

Blue Ridge/Eclipse combined acreage location – click for larger version

Some big news breaking from yesterday: After months of teasing by Eclipse Resources that it’s working on selling itself–it finally has. The buyer is Blue Ridge Mountain Resources, the renamed remnant of Magnum Hunter Resources. Magnum Hunter filed for bankruptcy in December 2015, emerging from bankruptcy in May 2016 minus CEO Gary Evans (see Magnum Hunter Emerges from Bankruptcy with CEO Gary Evans Gone). Looking to shed the image of the past, the company renamed itself as Blue Ridge in January 2017 (see Magnum Hunter Changes Its Name, Leaves the Bankrupt Past Behind). Blue Ridge, headquartered in Texas, has 99,000 acres of leases (mostly undeveloped) in the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays. Eclipse, on the other hand, is headquartered in State College, PA and has 128,000 acres–focused 100% on the Marcellus/Utica. Eclipse is renown for having drilled the world’s longest onshore lateral wells. Why do we say Blue Ridge is buying Eclipse when the announcement talks about a merger and on paper Blue Ridge will become a subsidiary of Eclipse? Because Eclipse is doing a 15 to 1 reverse stock split (combining shares to boost the per share value) and Eclipse CEO Ben Hulburt is nowhere to be found in the management structure of the newly combined company. Blue Ridge President and CEO John Reinhart will become President and CEO of the newly combined company. Eclipse’s top engineer Oleg Tolmachev–the guy who figures out how to drill those super-long laterals–will become Executive Vice President and COO of the combined company. No word yet on which name (or new name) they will use for the newly merged company…

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