San Leon Buys Aurelian to Boost Polish Shale, Shares Slump

San Leon Energy Plc (SLE) bought Aurelian Oil & Gas Plc (AUL) with an issue of new shares to create the biggest foreign holder of shale licenses in Poland, sending the company’s stock down by the most in almost a year.

San Leon will pay about 61.6 million pounds ($98 million) in stock for Aurelian, a 13 percent premium to last week’s closing price, the Dublin-based company said in a statement in London. Aurelian investors will hold 34 percent of the enlarged company and San Leon shareholders will have 66 percent.

Prospects for finding shale gas in Poland on a commercial scale prompted ConocoPhillips to buy a stake in licenses in the western Baltic Basin this year. Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s biggest company, returned some licenses after disappointing drilling results.

San Leon fell 13 percent, the most since Nov. 22 in London.

“A merger with Aurelian makes perfect sense for the shareholders,” said Oisin Fanning, the executive chairman of San Leon, who will maintain his role. “The combined entity offers shareholders material conventional and unconventional plays in stable and highly import-dependent countries.”

Aurelian was advised by Greenhill & Co. International LLP and Oriel Securities Ltd. San Leon was advised by Fox-Davies Capital Ltd. and Westhouse Securities Ltd.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Swint in London at bswint@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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