Pacific Rubiales Says It Favors Alfa, Harbour Takeover Bid

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Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp., Latin America’s largest non-state oil producer, views a takeover bid by Alfa SAB and Harbour Energy Ltd. favorably.

Pacific Rubiales, which said yesterday it was entering exclusive talks with the bidders, wants to complete negotiations as soon as possible and views the C$6.50-a-share offer as “reasonable,” General Counsel Peter Volk said.

“We’re working on turning it into something binding,” Volk said in a telephone interview from Toronto Wednesday. “We’re anxious to do this for many reasons as expeditiously as possible. It’s in the interest of all three parties.”

Alfa, the largest shareholder in the company, joined energy investor Harbour in a takeover offer of about C$2.1 billion ($1.7 billion) for the Bogota-based company. Acquiring Pacific Rubiales would expand Alfa’s oil expertise, giving the Mexican manufacturer an advantage as its home nation opens fields to private drillers for the first time since 1938.

“We think shareholders should accept the offer and do not expect competing bids,” Jared Dziuba, a BMO Capital Markets analyst, wrote in a report Wednesday. “In our view, any buyer must have confidence in Mexico’s opening bid rounds to the outside world, and we assume Alfa would have the most insight.”

Pacific Rubiales gained 12 percent to C$6.16 at the close in Toronto.

(Closes share price in last paragraph.)
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