• Special committee said Catalyst bid in company’s best interest
  • Latest EIG proposal attempted to wrest control of company

A special committee of directors at Pacific Exploration & Production Corp. has recommended the board continue to support a restructuring proposal submitted by Canada’s Catalyst Capital Group after reviewing the latest proposal from EIG Global Energy Partners, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Pacific said during a May 10 court hearing in Toronto it was reviewing the latest proposal from EIG and that the special committee would make its recommendation in due course. The board met Tuesday night and endorsed the Catalyst bid as being in the best interest of the company, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were private.

A representative for Catalyst declined to comment. Representatives for Pacific and EIG were not immediately available for comment.

Washington-based EIG submitted a new bid for Pacific earlier this month in an effort to wrest the Colombian oil producer from Catalyst. EIG Chief Executive Officer R. Blair Thomas argued at the time the new offer was “vastly superior” to the one submitted by Catalyst. Catalyst disputed that claim.

Pacific selected the restructuring plan submitted by Toronto-based Catalyst in April after an auction that included rival bids by EIG, Gran Tierra Energy Inc. and Alfa SAB, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

The Catalyst bid, which was spearheaded by Pacific’s co-chairmen and founders, Serafino Iacono and Miguel De La Campa, has the support of more than 75 percent of Pacific’s noteholders and lenders, the company has said.

Pacific failed to make bond interest payments in January and March and has struggled after a series of deals in recent years ballooned the company’s debt before oil prices plunged. It filed for creditor protection in April in the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario.

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