Hammerhead plans rare U.S. listing of Canadian gas producer in over $1 bln SPAC deal

Hammerhead Resources Inc plans to list on the Nasdaq by merging with blank check company Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation IV (DCRD.O) in a C$1.39 billion ($1.02 billion) deal, a rare U.S.-listing for a Canadian oil and gas producer.

The listing for Hammerhead, focused on the Montney shale formation in Alberta, would be a litmus test for investor confidence in the Canadian oil and gas production business, as for years foreign private equity players and oil majors have been exiting the oil patch due to a myriad of issues.

The merger also comes at a time when the frenzy around listings through the SPAC route have wound down after nearly two years of immense popularity. A SPAC typically raises money through an initial public offering, then looks for a company to buy.

Special purpose acquisition company Decarbonization raised $275 million in August last year and said it was looking for a target focused on developing a platform that decarbonizes the most carbon-intensive sectors, including energy, agriculture, industrials and transportation.

The deal with Hammerhead, backed by private equity firm Riverstone Holdings, is expected to close in the first quarter next year and generate gross proceeds of about $320 million, assuming minimal redemptions.

Hammerhead intends to use the funds to accelerate its carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) program and deliver substantial production and cash flow growth over the next several years.

Its decarbonization investment campaign across its asset base is estimated to require $240 million of capital between 2023 and 2029.

The combined company, to be listed on Nasdaq and trade under “HHRS”, will be managed by Hammerhead’s current executive team led by Chief Executive Officer Scott Sobie.

CIBC Capital Markets and Peters & Co. Limited are acting as financial and capital markets advisers to Hammerhead.

($1 = 1.3652 Canadian dollars)