Houston-based Sidewinder Drilling, which is controlled by private equity group Avista Capital Partners, said it already had support from the equivalent of 51% of Union Drilling’s common stockholders for the purchase.
Sidewinder Drilling chief executive Jon Cole said the buy was a strategic one for the company as “it significantly increases our scale of operations, geographically broadens our exposure in the North American shale plays, meaningfully expands our customer base and provides substantial synergies”.
Union Drilling provides contract land drilling services and equipment to US explorers, specialising in unconventional drilling techniques. It owns 53 rigs, including two under construction.
The offer, which is supported by both company boards, is being made by Sidewinder Drilling’s acquisition arm Fastball Acquisition for $6.50 a share.
Fort Worth-based Union Drilling’s shares closed at $6.13 on the Nasdaq on Monday.
Sidewinder Drilling says it has already obtained fully committed financing for the transaction.
The company was only formed in 2011 but benefits from the multi-billion capital warchest of New York- and London-listed Avista.
The offer, which requires uptake by 67.2% of Union Drilling’s outstanding shares, is expected to close in the final quarter of the year.