HOUSTON—Callon Petroleum Company and Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. announced that the boards of directors have unanimously approved a definitive agreement under which Callon will acquire Carrizo in an all-stock transaction valued at $3.2 billion. This combination will create an oil and gas company with scaled development operations across a portfolio of core oil-weighted assets in both the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale.
Under the terms of the agreement, Carrizo shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 2.05 Callon shares for each share of Carrizo common stock they own. This represents $13.12 per Carrizo share based on Callon's closing common stock price on July 12 and a premium of 18 percent to Carrizo's trailing 60-day volume weighted average price. Following the close of the transaction, Callon shareholders will own approximately 54 percent of the combined company, and Carrizo shareholders will own approximately 46 percent, on a fully diluted basis. The all-stock transaction is intended to be tax-free to Carrizo shareholders.
"We are excited about this transformational transaction, creating a differentiated oil and gas company by integrating core asset bases in premier basins. Together with Carrizo, we will accelerate our free cash flow, capital efficiency and deleveraging goals through an optimized model of large-scale development across the portfolio. We will also benefit from leading cash margins to navigate commodity price volatility and allow for reliable, continuous development of the combined asset base. With a deep inventory of high rate-of-return well locations in well-established areas and substantial upside opportunities for organic inventory delineation, we will be able drive differentiated growth deploying our life-of-field development model for many years to come," said Joe Gatto, president and CEO of Callon. "As a larger organization, Callon will be well-positioned to benefit from an expanded infrastructure footprint and critical mass for our production marketing and supply chain functions and also leverage our technology and data capture initiatives across a broader base. Importantly, this combination brings together two organizations grounded in strong values and a shared commitment to responsible operations, integrity, and a drive to deliver leading results. We look forward to welcoming Carrizo's employees and joining forces as a Houston-based company focused on the development of a premier Texas asset base to create enhanced value for all of our stakeholders."
S.P. "Chip" Johnson, IV, president and CEO of Carrizo, commented, "We believe that Callon is the ideal partner for Carrizo. Through our combination, we bring together a strong foundation of Midland Basin and Eagle Ford Shale assets and overlay a substantial Delaware acreage position and value proposition that will be unlocked through an integrated plan of large-scale program development. This all-stock transaction provides Carrizo shareholders with the opportunity to participate in the significant near- and long-term upside potential of the merged company. We look forward to a bright future for our employees and all of our stakeholders and expect a seamless integration."
Strategic and Financial Benefits of the Transaction
On a pro forma basis, Callon will have an approximate 200,000 net acre footprint in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale, including over 90,000 net acres in the Delaware Basin, and approximately 2,500 total gross horizontal drilling locations. The companies produced a combined 102.3 MBoe/d in 1Q19 (71 percent oil) and generated pro forma LTM 1Q19 adjusted EBITDAX of $1.2 billion. With an expected total of nine to 10 drilling rigs and three to four completion crews working during the course of 2020, predominantly in the Permian Basin, the combined entity will have the critical mass to realize supply chain savings and sustain simultaneous operations initiatives.
Together with Carrizo, Callon will have an extensive inventory of core Permian and Eagle Ford locations that compete for capital on a full-cycle basis. As a portfolio, its increased level of large project initiatives in the Permian Basin will be balanced by sustained investment in shorter cycle and less capital-intensive projects in the Eagle Ford Shale. Based on initial plans for capital allocation within the combined portfolio, Callon forecasts its free cash flow breakeven WTI crude oil price to progress to under $50/Bbl by 2021.
Callon expects this combination to be immediately accretive to free cash flow per share in 2020 with positive free cash flow generation of over $100 million at current strip pricing1 while maintaining double-digit production growth. The combination brings together a well-established and repeatable free cash flow generating business in the Eagle Ford Shale with Permian Basin assets that are rapidly transitioning to positive net cash flows with increasing investment in high-return projects. In addition, the combined company's corporate free cash flow will be increased through an optimized development plan in addition to corporate cost savings. This sustained free cash flow generation will accelerate Callon's deleveraging initiatives and improve its capacity to return capital to shareholders in the future.
Callon expects to have an enhanced credit profile due to broader scale and scope, and a substantial base of oil-weighted proved developed producing reserves. Importantly, significant free cash flow generation will drive the combined company's leverage ratio to below 2.0x in 2020 at current strip pricing. Additionally, upon closing, the combined company is anticipated to have pro forma liquidity of more than $1 billion under a new underwritten credit facility combined with no near-term debt maturities.
The transaction, which is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2019, is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including the approval of shareholders of both companies.