Clayton Williams Energy founder Clayton Williams Jr. is set to receive a billion dollar payday after his company was acquired by Noble Energy.
According to Forbes, Williams and his family will earn about $1.53 billion in pre-tax cash and stocks when the merger is closed.
Williams, 84, and his family hold 50.5 percent of his company’s stock.
Williams entered the oil industry in the late 1950s before branching out into the real estate, ranching and telecommunications industries.
Williams launched an unsuccessful bid for the Texas governorship in 1990 and took his oil firm public three years later.
Shares in Clayton Williams Energy soared to a high of over $144 per share in April 2014, just months before global crude prices plummeted.
The crude price rout sent shares in the firm tumbling, dragging the company’s shares to a historic low of just over $9 per share in April 2016.
Clayton Energy’s share price has been steadily recovering this year, hitting a new high of $145.25 per share on Tuesday.
The share price surge has boosted the company’s market capitalization to about $2.4 billion as of Wednesday morning.
Houston-based Noble Energy said this week that the companies have executed a definitive agreement that calls for Noble to acquire all of Clayton’s outstanding common stock for $2.7 billion in Noble Energy stock and cash.
Clayton Williams shareholders will receive 2.7874 shares of Noble Energy common stock and $34.75 in cash for each share of common stock held.
In the aggregate, that totals 55 million shares of Noble Energy stock and $665 million in cash.
The deal has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
The acquisition includes 71,000 highly contiguous net acres in the core of the Southern Delaware Basin in Reeves and Ward counties in Texas that are directly adjacent to Noble Energy’s existing 47,200 net acres.
As part of the deal, Noble will also acquire an additional 100,000 net acres in other areas of the Permian Basin.
Noble will also acquire 2,400 identified gross drilling locations identified that target the Upper and Lower Wolfcamp A zones as well as Wolfcamp B and C.
“This transaction brings all the key elements we value: excellent rock quality, a large contiguous acreage position adjacent to our own, and robust midstream opportunities, reinforcing the Delaware Basin as a long-term value and growth driver for Noble Energy,” Noble Energy CEO, chairman and president David L. Stover said.
Noble’s acquisition of Clayton Energy came just days after added 7,200 net acres to its Southern Delaware Basin position in Reeves County, Texas in a bolt-on acquisition.
S&P Global Platts found that wells in the Delaware and Midland basins in the Permian will likely be big winners if OPEC members deliver on planned production cuts.
Assuming West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices of either $50 per barrel, Platts estimates that the average Delaware well will generate returns of 23 percent, up from the area’s current level of 21 percent.
If WTI prices hit $65 per barrel, the average Delaware well is expected to generate a returns rate of 40 percent.