Another Malaysian petroeum giant is set to emerge, with SapuraCrest Petroleum Bhd and Kencana Petroleum Bhd announcing a RM11.9 billion (US$3.9 billion) merger plan to form Malaysia’s largest oilfields services provider by assets. The move is bound to please the government, coming just half a year after Prime Minister Najib Razak revealed incentives to explore less profitable oilfields, and the two companies jointly received a contract from government-linked Petronas to develop an eastern field in partnership with Petrofac Ltd.

The merger was orchestrated by Integral Key Sdn, a company set up especially to handle the merger by a unit of Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank). The company made a bid of RM4.60 per share in stock and cash for SapuraCrest and the equivalent of RM3 per share for Kencana. The merged company would have around RM6 billion ($1.98 billion) in assets and would grow from there thanks to an increased ability to handle larger and more complex projects.

Integral’s offer, which is valid until 15 August 2011, is a 2.4% premium on SapuraCrest’s 8 July share price of RM4.49 and a 7.1% premium on Kencana’s RM2.80. SapuraCrest’s share price rose 0.7% to RM4.92 on the news and Kencana’s jumped 3.9% to RM2.91. Bloomberg reports the new entity would have a market cap of RM11.1 billion ($3.66 billion) based on current prices, making it Malaysia’s second largest company of its type by market cap (after Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Bhd) but the largest by assets.

Analysts say the two companies are a good fit. SapuraCrest operates drilling rigs, installing pipelines and developing oil and gas fields, while Kencana is in the engineering and fabrication business. The merger is expected to prompt other smaller players into tie-ups, and the government’s offer of development investives still stands.

source & article: Bloomberg