AJ Lucas Acquires Riverstone's Stake in Cuadrilla Resources
Australian drilling services provider AJ Lucas Group Ltd. (AJL) has entered into an agreement to acquire private equity firm Riverstone’s entire 45.2% interest in UK shale gas explorer Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. As a result of the acquisition, AJL’s holding in Bamber Bridge-based Cuadrilla will increase from 47.6% to approximately 93%, and AJL will be required to make an offer to acquire all the company’s remaining shares held by minority shareholders (primarily current and former employees of the company) on the same terms as those being acquired from Riverstone. Under the terms of the agreement, Riverstone will receive a nominal upfront consideration plus various contingent payments linked to project milestones and any potential future sale by AJL of its interest in Cuadrilla. Riverstone’s exit from Cuadrilla follows an extended UK Government moratorium on fracking activities that have caused indefinite delays to Cuadrilla’s exploration drilling activities in the Bowland Shale in northern England. Riverstone indicated that the projected delays were longer than could be accommodated within the fund that originally invested in Cuadrilla.