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Calfrac rejects Wilks Brothers' takeover offer, sweetens recapitalization bid

(Reuters) - Canada's Calfrac Well Services CFW.TO on Thursday rejected a takeover offer of 18 Canadian cents per share from billionaire investor Wilks Brothers LLC and said it was sweetening its recapitalization plan to reduce debt.

The new plan offers 15 Canadian cents in cash per common share and two warrants with the cash. Alternatively, the shareholders can hold on to their shares and take the two warrants, which could be used to buy shares at 5 Canadian cents per common share over a three year period.

Calfrac’s board on Thursday formally rejected the C$26.13 million ($20 million) offer from Wilks Brothers, which owns a near 20% stake in the oilfield services provider and is also a major bondholder.

Wilks Brothers could not be immediately reached for comment.

Calfrac’s management in July presented shareholders with a recapitalization deal, which offered a share swap in exchange for debt, to eliminate a massive debt load.

But the plan met strong opposition from Wilks Brothers, which said the offer “contains serious flaws” and leaves the business at a high risk of filing for bankruptcy in the near future.

The investor group, led by oil billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks, has been acquiring stakes in hard-hit U.S. service firms and earlier made two bids for Calfrac’s U.S. operations.

Calfrac, which remains in default of $431.8 million to the senior unsecured noteholders, has witnessed a slump in its market value this year due to a collapse in drilling activity fueled by a crash in oil prices amid coronavirus-related lockdowns.

Calfrac on Thursday also postponed its shareholders’ meeting to Oct. 16 from Sept. 29, the second time a vote on the rivaling proposals was being delayed, saying it wants to give investors time to consider its new offer.

Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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