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Oil Billionaire Harold Hamm Proposes To Take Continental Resources Private

Billionaire shale tycoon Harold Hamm has offered to take private Continental Resources, the company he founded in the 1960s, in a deal valuing the company at $25 billion, the shale giant said on Tuesday.

The board of directors of Continental Resources has received a non-binding proposal letter, dated June 13, 2022, from Harold Hamm and Hamm's family members to buy for cash all the outstanding shares of common stock of Continental, which is around 17%, that the family doesn't already own.

The Hamm Family's proposal is for $70.00 per share and represents a 9% premium over Continental's closing price on June 13, 2022. This values the company at $25 billion.

Following the announcement of Hamm's proposal, shares in Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR) surged by 15.91% and traded at $74.73 as of 9:59 ET on Tuesday.

The Hamm Family collectively holds approximately 299.7 million shares of Continental Resources' common stock, or 83% of the total outstanding shares of common stock.

"We have consistently said that as long as we were appreciated in the market, we would remain a public company, but if our opportunities were limited by being public, we should look at alternatives," Harold Hamm said in a letter to employees.

"We have determined that the opportunity today is with private companies who have the freedom to operate and aren't limited by public markets, similar to the way that we operated approximately 15 years ago, prior to becoming a public entity," Hamm added.

Continental Resources' Board had yet to consider the proposal by establishing a special committee consisting of independent directors. The board "has not had an opportunity to carefully review and evaluate the proposal or make any decision with respect to Continental's response to the proposal. The proposal constitutes only an indication of interest by the Hamm Family and does not constitute a binding commitment with respect to the proposed transaction or any other transaction," the company said in a statement.

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The Hamm family is interested only in acquiring Continental's common stock and are not interested in selling any of our Common Stock in Continental or pursuing other strategic alternatives involving Continental, it said. If the Special Committee of the board does not recommend the "take private" deal, the Hamm Family currently intends to continue as long-term shareholders of Continental.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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