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Baytex Energy acquires Ranger Oil for $2.5 billion

Vice President: Yug Serai

Associate: Henry Wareing

Analysts: Heison (Cheng Hei) Chan, Kester Low, Saumya Shah

Deal Overview

Acquirer: Baytex Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTE)

Acquiree: Ranger Oil Corporation (NASDAQ:ROCC)

Deal Size: $2.5 billion

Buy Side Advisors: CIBC Capital Markets and RBC Capital Markets (financial), and Vinson & Elkins LLP, and Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP (Legal)

Sell Side Advisors: BofA Securities, Inc. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC (financial), and Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Stikeman Elliot LLP (Legal)


In a press release on February 28, 2023, Baytex Energy announced that it would acquire Ranger Oil Corporation, an independent oil and gas company which is engaged in the production and development of oil, NGLs and natural gas. This deal has been unanimously approved by both Baytex Energy and Ranger Oil board members and is expected to close in late Q2 of 2023. Baytex have described the deal as entirely strategic, as it opens new oil production capabilities and doubles Baytex’s free cash flow. Eric T. Greager, the President and CEO of Baytex reinforced this as he described that, under the deal, they are “building quality scale and a more durable business.” (Baytex, 2023) In addition to this, this deal is particularly attractive to Baytex as it ensures that they have increased control of the Eagle Ford shale field in Southern Texas, which is where Ranger Oil exclusively operate. In this way, Baytex are securing long-term production capabilities that are highly necessary as supply of natural gas gradually wanes in this area.

Deal Structure

Under the terms of the deal, the total consideration to be paid by Baytex Energy is approximately $2.5 billion. Note that this figure also includes assumption of net debt worth $650 million within the deal (Baytex, 2023). This means that Ranger shareholders will receive, per Ranger common share they hold, 7.49 Baytex shares and $13.31 cash, which amounts to a total compensation of approximately $44.36 (Reuters, 2022). After the acquisition, it is expected that current Baytex shareholders will own approximately 63% of the combined company, with current Ranger shareholders accounting for the other 37% of combined shares (Ranger Oil, 2023). It is expected that this deal will provide shareholders in both companies with exceptional returns and an increase in value, as Edward Geiser, the Chairman of Ranger’s board described the deal as a “leap forward in shareholder value creation.”

The shareholder statistics mentioned above imply that Baytex is paying a 7.38% premium in this deal to acquire Ranger (this figure is accurate as of 28/02/23) (Reuters, 2022), which is a modest premium given the expected benefits and shareholder value that will be created under this deal, and the current state of the industry. The current state of the industry in this case is one of high profitability for shale and fracking companies, and crude oil prices rising significantly. Because of this, many believed that a higher premium would be required to close the deal.

In terms of financing this deal, the cash portion of this deal is expected to be funded through expanded credit facilities and the issuance of debt securities. Furthermore, Baytex has entered into a debt commitment letter with CIBC Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets and the Bank of Nova Scotia to provide aggregate debt commitments of $1.75 billion, in order to finance this deal. This $1.75 billion is expected to be comprised of a $1 billion revolving credit facility, a $500 million 364-day bridge facility, and a $250 million term loan (Baytex, 2023). These debt commitments provide ample support to Baytex in this deal, as they allow Baytex to optimise its capital structure and maintain adequate liquidity moving forward. This flexibility will be necessary to ensure the smooth running of both businesses moving forward, due to the capital-intensive nature of oil and gas production.

Baytex Energy Corporation Overview

Baytex Energy is an energy company which is based in Calgary, Alberta. They are involved in the acquisition, production and development of crude oil and natural gas in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, and also in the Eagle Ford in the USA. Baytex Energy describe themselves as a “top-tier North American oil producer,” (Baytex, 2023) which has a particular focus on value creation for shareholders. Some of their key values include empowering their employees to deliver on their corporate strategy, and a strong culture of safety and continuous improvement within the company. In addition to this, they have a high focus on sustainability, as they target modest production growth, and continuously assess their assets and their development to limit the environmental impact of their activity in producing oil.

Baytex is also no stranger to inorganic business growth, as they have gone through numerous M&A deals in the past to increase their oil production and boost revenues. These deals include a $181 million takeover of Burmis Energy Inc. in April 2008, asset purchases totaling $79.9 million from True Energy Trust in the summer of 2009, and a $156.5 million purchase of heavy oil assets from a private company in February 2011. These deals show how, over the years, Baytex have enacted aggressive business growth, with a strong focus on building high production capacity and long-term growth. This deal is therefore no different to their past dealmaking trends.

Ranger Oil Corporation Overview

Ranger Oil is an independent oil and gas company engaged in the development and production of oil, NGLs, and natural gas. It has operations based primarily in the Eagle Ford shale in southern Texas. Ranger Oil was originally founded as the Virginia Coal & Iron Company, in 1882. In 1967 it changed its name to Penn Virginia Corporation, and, after a period of diversification where it acquired many different oil and gas companies in the 1980s, undergoing significant inorganic growth, it was listed on the NYSE in 1997.

After the acquisition of Lonestar Resources US Inc., Penn Virginia Corporation changed name to Ranger Oil Corporation, in 2021. Under this new name, it is now traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker of ROCC. After the deal, its business activity was highly increased, as Ranger Oil produces roughly 40,000 barrels worth of oil per day and owns 140,000 net acres at 750 different locations across the Eagle Ford play in South Texas.

Industry Analysis

Both Baytex Energy and Ranger oil operate in the oil and gas industry. However, traditionally, this industry is split into three separate sections – upstream, midstream, and downstream. In this case, Baytex and Ranger operate in the upstream section of the industry, as they are primarily concerned with the exploration and production of oil and gas. They are therefore considered to be upstream as they are companies which operate closest to the source of oil and gas, which is crude oil that is found underground.

The upstream section of the oil and gas industry is one of high risk and high reward, due to the capital intensity of exploration and production of new drilling sites. Finding a new drill site is risky and expensive, as geological surveys are required to assess whether there is oil underground, which require specialists who demand high salaries in the labour market. In addition to this, once it is determined that oil exists at a possible drill site, there is a plethora of government regulation and red tape to navigate before any oil can actually be extracted and sold. As well as this, there is always the risk of a survey being carried out incorrectly and resulting in an unsuccessful exploration, which is estimated to come at a loss of $5-$20 million to the firm (Library of Congress, 2021).

Even if an exploration project is successful, there are still high costs associated with the extraction of resources. For example, specialised drilling firms need to be contracted to carry out the drilling for companies, and specialist labour is hired to ensure that extraction is completed efficiently and safely. This leaves upstream oil companies with tight margins, as the estimated average cost of producing one barrel of oil is approximately $44 (Journal of Petroleum-Technology, 2017). Therefore, before this deal, Ranger Oil was spending about $1.76 million per day on extracting its oil from the Eagle Ford alone, representing a very high variable cost to companies operating in this industry.

However, despite the high costs and high risks associated with operating in the upstream oil industry, this is still a highly lucrative industry that has the capacity for companies to reach huge valuations (>$100 billion) and create fortunes for shareholders and employees. This is due to the reliance of much of the modern global economy on oil and gas, as oil and gas are paramount to production processes, transport, and electricity production. Therefore, there is a huge market for oil and gas, which drives the high revenues of oil and gas companies. The graph below summarises this, as it shows just how much oil and gas is demanded daily by first world countries across the globe.

Source: Statista, 2021

As can be seen by the graph above, the top 10 oil-consuming countries worldwide consumed, on average, a combined total of 58,686,000 barrels per day in 2021. Therefore, despite the high costs within this market, there is still huge demand, which incentivises producers to enter this highly lucrative market.

Another issue with this industry is the price volatility of oil prices, due to the nature of inelastic demand and supply. This means that within this industry, fortunes can change quickly, as many companies’ success depend on the price of a barrel of oil, which can fluctuate heavily with macroeconomic conditions. The graph below shows this, as it shows how, especially in recent years, price fluctuations in the industry have grown to great extremes, where oil prices have acted somewhat like a yo-yo, in response to macroeconomic shocks that affect business activity, and therefore how much oil is demanded in the global economy.

(Source: Statista, 2023)

Here, examples of huge drops are seen between 2014 and 2015, where oil prices went from $98.97 per barrel to $52.32 per barrel, representing a 47.14% drop (Statista, 2023). In this way, the oil and gas industry is quite unlike any other, as very rarely in other industries can you see the value of the goods in question nearly halving in price in the space of 12 months. However, on the flipside, this can have huge benefits to oil and gas producers, as they can benefit highly from geopolitics and macroeconomic shocks if they play to their favour. This is seen as, during pandemic recovery post 2020, the price of oil went from $41.96 per barrel to $100.93 per barrel, showing a huge increase of 140.54% in the space of just 24 months (Statista, 2023).

Having shown how the oil and gas industry has certain characteristics of high risk, high costs and volatile prices, it is now necessary to link these characteristics to the current industry outlook, and what it means for Baytex Energy and Ranger Oil moving forward, as it is the industry forces which will ultimately determine the success or failure of this acquisition moving forward.

Currently, the oil and gas industry is in an abnormal spot due to the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This conflict greatly impacts the global oil and gas market, as Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of oil and gas, and therefore international sanctions placed on Russia and deteriorating political conditions leave the oil and gas market in a precarious spot, as supply is not guaranteed to Russia’s western customers.

For example, in previous months, Russia has made a series of calculated moves in order to influence the global oil and gas market. Some of these include extended oil output cuts, such as how Russia claimed it would decrease oil production by 500,000 barrels per day throughout March 2023 to combat price caps placed on Russian exports (Upstream, 2021). In addition to this, Russia has indefinitely shut down their Nord Stream 1, a huge energy pipeline which transports natural gas from Russia to Germany. This is part of their decrease in gas supplies to EU states by 88% since the start of the Ukraine conflict, representing a huge impact on the market (BBC, 2022).

However, this market volatility has aided oil and gas producers in Western countries hugely, as prices have shot up, which has caused for their profits to increase massively. This is characterised when Bernard Looney, the CEO of BP, stated that “when the market is strong, when oil prices are strong and gas prices are strong, this is literally a cash machine.” (This is money, 2022) This shows just how lucrative the industry can be when market conditions are favourable and, in the current time, the market is highly favourable to oil and gas producers.

Baytex’s annual report in 2022 supports this idea of the market currently being favourable to oil and gas producers. Baytex’s free cash flow, often used as a measure of profitability, was a record high of $622 million in 2022, showing just how successful the company currently is in the current market conditions.

Therefore, overall, the oil and gas industry is currently in a strong position, as high oil and gas prices are pushing profits higher and higher for energy companies, as they benefit from the extraordinary geopolitical situation and profit from higher oil prices increasing their margins. In addition to this, the fact that the Russia and Ukraine crisis does not seem to be reaching a resolution further supports this positive outlook, as oil and gas prices are expected to remain elevated for quite some time, as Russia continues to influence the market to bend countries to its political will.

Deal Valuation and Financial Analysis

Comparable Company Analysis

Ranger Oil’s current EV/Revenue ratio is 1.78, sits well between the median and average of the set of comparable companies in the above table. This could translate into a positive valuation that makes it a good acquisition target. Whilst Ranger Oil’s net income and PE Ratio may not be as favourable when compared to the current set of comparable companies of similar sizes, the current industry average PE ratio is approximately 6.1.

Additionally, as confirmed by Baytex’s CEO Graeger who mentioned that the “Ranger acquisition is strategic”, Baytexviews the strategic rationales as critical reasons for the acquisition and would likely factor in the premium paid for slightly worse trading multiples and ratios. In fact, Ranger Oil serves to boost Baytex’s financials by doubling its EBITDA and nearly doubling its free cash flow.

Premium paid based on publicly available valuation

Based on the definitive agreement signed between Baytex and Ranger, Ranger shareholders will receive 7.49 Baytex shares plus US$13.31 cash, for each Ranger common share, adding up to a total of approximately US$44.36 per share. This represents an approximately 8.62% premium paid for the current share price of USD$40.84.

According to Andre Dittmar, Director at Enverus Intelligence Research, Ranger accepted such a modest premium due to its current quality of inventory. He mentioned that the acquisition is “in line with other deals that have similar quality inventory to Ranger… [and that only] a company with more or higher quality inventory might look to command a larger premium”. Furthermore, the deal is also reminiscent of M&A deals in the industry space around 2020, where low commodity prices and profitability meant little-to-no premiums over current asset values.

Nonetheless, this 8.62% premiumk is likely indicative of the amount that Baytex was willing to pay for the strategic rationales, particularly since the acquisition was strategically critical for its aggressive market strategy in the domination of the Eagle Ford basin. Based on industry analysis, this is a reasonable premium considering the strategic considerations of the deal, and the potential synergies thereafter. Furthermore, with crude oil prices rising significantly since, shale and fracking has become profitable again and M&A deals down the line in this industry is likely to have a much higher premium. Hence, Baytex’s acquisition of Ranger seems extremely timely and presents a great opportunity for Baytex.

Implied Valuation and Calculated Premium Paid (based on mean EV/Revenue)

Based on available information, the implied valuation of Ranger Oil's business is $2,230,068,680 ($2.23 billion) which is calculated by multiplying the mean EV/Revenue (2.04) by the latest publicly available revenue reported of Ranger Oil ($1.09 billion). This valuation implies the perceived value of Ranger Oil's future cash flows by the acquirer.

The purchase price of the business $2.5 billion, which is 12% higher than the implied valuation, meaning that the premium paid is $269,939,320 ($269.94 million). This premium could mean that Baytex Energy believes that Ranger Oil's business has significant growth potential or strategic value that is not fully reflected in the implied valuation, and that 12% is a reasonable premium that would be covered by future growth and synergies. The premium may also have reflected the competitive bidding process among other potential buyers.

It is important to note, though, that this analysis is based on limited information available, and other factors may also influence the purchase price and premium paid, resulting in differing valuations.

Precedent transactions

The USD$2.5 billion deal, including a $650m net debt, is the first M&A deal in the industry amongst public companies in the oil and gas upstream space since last year’s M&A deal between Oasis Petroleum and Whiting Petroleum.

Merger of Chord Energy (Oasis Petroleum and Whiting Petroleum)

Completed in July 2022, the $6 billion merger created an oil producer in the US Rocky Mountains Williston Basin in North Dakota and Montana that could compete with its competitors on a larger scale. The merged company, since renamed as Chord Energy, is reportedly well positioned to drive significant shareholder value with good financial strength and an attractive balance sheet. The transaction is accretive to key per-share metrics including E&P free cash flow, return of capital and net asset value, and has realised administrative and operation costs synergies and savings of at least $65m.

Oxy’s acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum

Oxy’s ground-breaking $55 billion acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum in Q2 2019 came at the end of a hugely expensive bidding competition with Chevron. However, the deal has largely yielded terrible results. With Oxy reporting huge losses of $8.4 billion by the second quarter of 2020 that represented a loss of $9.12 per share, the deal was hugely dilutive. Many pointed out to the acquisition of significant amounts of additional debt, as well as the unforeseeable COVID-19 pandemic as reasons for the deal’s failure – thus dooming it as an untimely purchase saddled with overly high premiums. Since this deal, there has been a dearth of M&A deals of the same scale in the industry and many have noted that only a small handful of small-to-mid-cap firms are currently on sale or exploring a sale.

Valuation Summary

The terminal value of EV using the perpetuity growth approach points at $2.26 billion, while the EBITDA exit multiple approach indicates a $2.47 billion terminal value. Taking average, the terminal value is $2.36 billion. After discounting the free cash flow and terminal value, the enterprise value is $3.04 billion, whereas the equity value is $2.10 billion. As there are 21,000,000 shares outstanding as at 31st December 2022, the implied share price should be $99.77.

Deal Rationale

Canada’s Baytex Energy Corporation agreed to acquire US-based company Ranger Oil Corporation for $2.5 billion, including net debt of $650 million. This is the first of its kind deal in almost a year. With such a huge deal, there are rationales and synergies to be explored.

Cost synergies

Acquisition of such scale is expected to develop synergies. Although in this case it is expected that the cost synergies will be limited as the employees of Baytex and Ranger Oil are going to work together (instead of laying off employees from Ranger oil, as seen in many acquisitions) (Baytex, 2022). This means that employee related expenditures will not reduce, thus having little effect on costs. Moreover, Baytex does not have much experience in operations in the Eagle Ford play, particularly in terms of using the assets. Therefore this might even increase the costs due to inefficiency, eliminating any possible cost synergies.

Revenue Synergies

Even if there may be limited cost synergies, other synergies are still expected to come out of this deal. There are significant revenue synergies that Baytex can expect. Due to a stronger presence in the region coming through this acquisition, Baytex would now have more acreage, around 162000 acres, of oil-producing land in the Eagle Ford basin. This would hugely impact the light-oil production, with Baytex expecting to produce around 67-70 Mboe/d (thousand barrels of oil equivalent). All of this would result in higher revenues for Baytex1 . Baytex is planning to keep current employees in the Eagle Ford region. At present, Marathon (another Corporation) controls most of the acquired acreage. But this means that Baytex’s current personnel would have access to plenty of information, which will help Baytex to expand and increase revenues in the coming years (Blackmon, D., 2023).

Financial synergies

Other than revenue synergies, financial synergies too can be generated with this deal. Firstly, owing to the possibility of higher production of both heavy and light oil, and consistent cash flows, Baytex will be able to serve its debt in a timely manner, resulting in a stronger balance sheet due to lower current liabilities. Moreover, after the deal closes, Baytex announced that it plans on rewarding its shareholders by introducing a quarterly dividend of 2.25 cents per share. Baytex also said that this deal will more than double their EBITDA, and double the free cash flow as stated previously. It will also lower the breakeven price of WTI (West Texas Intermediate), resulting in higher profitability. Assets will also increase significantly, as Baytex would now own the assets of Ranger Oil, again strengthening the balance sheet. Several locations in the Eagle Ford region would generate IRRs (Internal Rate of Return) of more than 75%. Shareholders are also expected to see an improved return than what they would have got had the acquisition not happened, where the returns are expected to increase by 50% of free cash flow on closing (Player, L., 2023)

Strategy and Other rationales

Eric Greager, the Baytex Energy Corp. Chief Executive said that the acquisition is strategic in a way that benefits Baytex in the long term. The main reason this acquisition is considered to be strategic is that it is expected to result in higher and more consistent cash flow for Baytex, along with a lower breakeven WTI (West Texas Intermediate) price. Moreover, it opens up new opportunities for the coming 12-15 years, as Ranger Oil’s current inventory, paired with Baytex’s current capital would open up more oil-generating opportunities in various regions across Canada and the USA.

Baytex has tried to establish its presence in the Eagle Ford area (the region where Ranger Oil was a big player) with this deal. However, 2014 was when Baytex first entered this region, by acquiring Aurora Oil and Gas. But this deal was not successful as oil prices crashed just after the acquisition and thus there was a huge hit to Baytex’s revenue, as it depended on Eagle Ford for its production. However, this time around Baytex is pursuing an offensive strategy where even if oil prices crash, its cash flows would still be consistent. This offensive strategy is essentially to produce heavy and light oil from different regions simultaneously, particularly the type of oil which is usually profitable. To provide some context, Baytex is already present in Alberta, Canada, in an oil play called Clearwater Oil Play. Clearwater is generally profitable for heavy oil, as its low cost. Eagle Ford oil is a light oil, which Baytex will produce in greater quantities post-acquisition. Generally, heavy oil is not profitable when the price crashes, unlike light oil. But even if price crashes and reduced profitability of heavy oil, now Baytex will still produce enough light oil from the Eagle Ford region keeping the cash flows consistent (allowing timely debt servicing), making the acquisition offensively strategic (Person, 2023).

Another aspect that makes this acquisition offensive is that Baytex wants to dominate the Eagle Ford basin. Currently, Eagle Ford's production comprises 30% of Baytex’s total production, according to its website. However, Baytex aims to increase this. This can be done by absorbing the currently present numerous small producers in the region. Furthermore, Eagle Ford is close to other energy hubs, like the Gulf Coastk, which indicates more deals can be done in the region to expand.

Overall, this deal is highly strategic, where Baytex aims to position itself offensively in the Eagle Ford region in such a manner that opens up new avenues to expand and keep production and cash flows consistent. While cost synergies may be limited, the deal is expected to generate valuable financial and revenue synergies.


Acquisitions in the energy sector can be risky due to various factors, such as changes in commodity prices, regulatory challenges, environmental concerns, and the financial health of the acquiring company.

The energy industry is subject to volatile commodity prices, which can impact the profitability of the acquired assets. If Baytex Energy overpays for Ranger Oil or if oil and gas prices decline sharply, the acquisition may not be financially viable. Especially with the trend of transitioning to cleaner energy in the long term, the price of oil and gas will be very volatile. According to Deloitte’s 2023 oil and gas industry outlook, supportive policies, in combination with higher O&G cash flows in 2022, have enabled O&G companies to increase investment in clean energy. While this investment is expected to continue increasing, several factors could influence the pace of investment or shift the clean energy focus over the next 12 months. (Deloitte, 2022)

Also, energy companies are subject to a range of regulations related to environmental protection, health and safety, and land use. If Baytex Energy fails to comply with these regulations or faces unexpected changes in regulatory requirements, it could impact the value of the acquired assets. Although supply interruptions and price volatility are not new to the oil and gas business, the current scenario is distinct. The problem of underinvestment has been made worse by a convergence of economic, geopolitical, trade, policy, and finance variables, which has also led to a readjustment in the larger energy market. This has led to a trilemma of issues for all three elements of a balanced energy equation: energy security, supplier diversity, and low-carbon transition.

The acquisition could put a strain on Baytex Energy's financial resources as well, especially if it involves taking on significant debt or issuing new equity. If the company is not able to manage its debt levels effectively, it could impact its credit rating and ability to access capital markets. According to Baytex Energy’s newest balance sheet, the current ratio is 0.81, which is way lower than the ideal ratio (1.5 to 3). This means that there are relatively too many current liabilities. At the same time, Ranger Oil has a current ratio of 0.60 and a debt/equity ratio of 1.25. Therefore, the high level of debt may be a concern after the acquisition.

Last but not least, integrating two companies with different cultures, processes, and systems can be challenging. If the integration is not successful, it could lead to operational disruptions, loss of key personnel, and decreased productivity.Since Baytex Energy is based in Calgary, while Ranger Oil is based in Houston.


To conclude, Baytex’s acquisition of Ranger presents a significant opportunity for the firm to strengthen its position in the oil and gas industry. Given Ranger’s extensive portfolio of assets including drilling and production facilities that complements Baytex’s existing operations, the acquisition will accrue significant financial and revenue synergies, on top of the strategic role that Ranger’s assets could play in Baytex’s offensive market strategy in dominating the Eagle Ford basin. The acquisition is also largely a positive development for Baytex’s shareholders, with a planned dividend of 2.25 cents per share post-acquisition, and with a clearer, more profitable and brighter future for the company as analysed previously. The deal would thus yield much valuefor Baytex moving forward.

Nonetheless, there are some risks and headwinds associated with this acquisition such as the volatility of oil and gas prices that could impact the profitability of the firms – which is a particularly painful reminder for Baytex since its 2014 acquisition of Aurora Oil and Gas that preceded an oil price crash.

Overall, Baytex’s acquisition of Ranger Oil is a positive development for both companies, and is also a sign of the industry sector’s health in terms of M&A activity. Whilst there are some risks in this deal, Baytex and Ranger are well positioned to navigate these challenges, maximise their synergies and emerge as a stronger company.


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Note: The opinions expressed in the reports are those of the members of the Junior IB team and are not affiliated with any university or institution. The financial recommendations provided are for educational purposes only and the Junior IB team takes no responsibility for any losses that may occur from implementing any ideas presented in the reports. The Junior IB team is not authorized to provide investment advice. The information, opinions, and estimates presented in the reports reflect the Junior IB team's judgment at the time of publication and are subject to change without notice. The price, value, and income of any securities or financial instruments mentioned in the reports may fluctuate. The Junior IB team has no business relationship with any of the companies mentioned in the reports and does not receive any compensation for their inclusion.

Copyright © April 2023 | The Junior IB.



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