​Precision claiming $20 million break fee after Ensign set to take over Trinidad

Pad drilling. Image: Trinidad Drilling

Precision Drilling Corporation says it is entitled to a $20-million break fee after Ensign Energy Services Inc. announced Tuesday that it will take control of Trinidad Drilling Ltd. by acquiring a majority of Trinidad's shares.

Calgary-based Precision, the largest driller in Canada, said the fee is owed as part of the Oct. 5 arrangement it had with Trinidad after terminating the friendly deal following Ensign's success.

Ensign says 56.38 per cent of Trinidad shares have been tendered by its Tuesday deadline. The 154.1 million shares are in addition to the 26.9 million it also owns, raising its stake in Trinidad to 66.18 per cent.

Each Trinidad shareholder will receive by Thursday $1.68 per share for a total of about $470 million, with the offer price representing a 17.2 per cent premium over the all-share Precision proposal.

With all conditions of its offer satisfied or waived, Ensign has extended the deadline until Dec. 10 for Trinidad shareholders who have not done so to tender their shares.

Ensign had given Trinidad shareholders less time to consider its hostile takeover bid by pushing its offer deadline ahead of a planned Dec. 11 meeting where Trinidad shareholders were scheduled to vote on the proposed merger with Precision.

© 2018 The Canadian Press