CALGARY, ALBERTA – Whitecap Resources Inc. ("Whitecap" or the "Company") (TSX: WCP) is pleased to announce that it has entered into three definitive agreements to dispose of certain non-strategic assets, effective October 1, 2022 for aggregate consideration of $419 million, consisting of $394 million in cash and producing assets that consolidate working interest in our operated Butte, Saskatchewan core area. Current production from the disposed assets is approximately 11,000 boe/d1 and is expected to average approximately 10,000 boe/d in 2023 (in each case, net of acquired production). The transactions are expected to close in January 2023, subject to customary closing considerations. Upon closing, Whitecap will have successfully disposed of the non-strategic assets that were marketed for disposition.
Consistent with our return of capital framework, our Board of Directors has approved a 32% increase to the monthly dividend as our first net debt2 milestone of $1.8 billion will be achieved on or before the close of the transactions. The new monthly dividend of $0.0483 per share is up from the current monthly dividend of $0.0367 per share, which equates to $0.58 per share annually and is effective with the January 2023 dividend, payable in February 2023. The increased dividend represents an attractive yield of 6% based on the December 16, 2022 closing price of $9.68 per share and is a significant step towards us achieving our targeted annual dividend level of $0.73 per share. Pro forma the dispositions, our targeted dividend plus maintenance capital remains fully funded within funds flow at US$50/bbl WTI and C$4.00/GJ AECO.
Our next net debt milestone of $1.3 billion is now expected to be achieved by mid-2023, approximately five months earlier than initially forecasted based on current strip prices3. Once our $1.3 billion net debt milestone is achieved, we plan to return 75% of free funds flow back to shareholders which includes the targeted $0.73 per share base dividend, supplemented with share buybacks and/or special dividends. The remaining 25% of free funds flow will be used to continue to strengthen our balance sheet, providing us with significant financial flexibility to consider future opportunities.
For 2023, as a result of the asset dispositions, we are now forecasting production to average 160,000 - 162,000 boe/d (64% liquids) with no change to our capital budget of $900 - $950 million. The assets being disposed of are non-strategic to Whitecap and, therefore, had minimal capital expenditures allocated to them in 2023 and beyond.
We will now begin 2023 with an even stronger balance sheet, and we look forward to updating shareholders on our progress throughout the year.
For further information:
Grant Fagerheim, President & CEO
Thanh Kang, Senior Vice President & CFO
Whitecap Resources Inc.
3800, 525 – 8th Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2P 1G1
1 Disclosure of production on a per boe basis in this press release consists of the constituent product types and their respective quantities disclosed herein. Refer to Barrel of Oil Equivalency and Production and Product Type Information in this press release for additional disclosure.
2 Net debt is a capital management measure. Refer to the Specified Financial Measures section in this press release for additional disclosures.
3 See Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements for underlying commodity price and exchange rate assumptions.
Refer to full press release for forward-looking statements and advisories.