CALGARY, ALBERTA – Whitecap Resources Inc. ("Whitecap" or the "Company") (TSX: WCP) is pleased to announce three separate transactions that will consolidate core assets within its Central Alberta, Eastern Saskatchewan and Western Saskatchewan business units (the “Acquisitions”). The Acquisitions will increase 2022 discretionary funds flow after capital and dividends by $80 million or 10% per share at US$65/bbl WTI and C$3.50/GJ AECO by adding approximately 9,000 boe/d (67% liquids) to our average production in 2022 and further improving our long-term sustainability by adding 345 (257.5 net) top tier drilling locations. The combined purchase price of the Acquisitions is $342.5 million, consisting of approximately 15.2 million Whitecap shares at a weighted average price of $7.20 per share and approximately $240 million of cash.
Whitecap is also pleased to continue to advance our return of capital strategy with the repurchase of 19.2 million shares at a price of $6.95 per share for total value of $133.7 million returned to shareholders. The repurchase was executed by way of a block trade under our normal course issuer bid (“NCIB”). We now have 7.1 million shares remaining on our current NCIB and intend to renew the NCIB for another year when it expires on May 20, 2022.
· Accretive to Shareholders. The Acquisitions are 7% accretive to 2022 funds flow per share, 8% accretive to 2022 free funds flow per share, 10% accretive to 2022 discretionary funds flow per share and 5% accretive to 2022 production per share. The Acquisitions were executed at a forecast 2022 operating income multiple of 2.6 times, while forecast 2022 discretionary funds flow of $80 million from the Acquisitions represents a yield of 23% relative to the purchase price and high grades our inventory across three of our four existing business units. The Acquisitions are also accretive to our environmental sustainability with asset retirement obligations of only $7 million (discounted at 10%) or $26 million undiscounted. We plan to further reduce the emissions profile of the Acquisitions by completing the tie-in of natural gas currently being flared in mid-2022.
· Central Alberta Private Co. Whitecap has entered into a purchase and sale agreement to acquire a private company with operations focused on the Glauconite formation in our Central Alberta business unit. The transaction consolidates our working interest and allows Whitecap to control the pace of development and optimize future production through its facility ownership. Our Glauconite well type curve expectations rank top quartile within our portfolio and this acquisition adds a total of 65 (46.1 net) Glauconite locations within this business unit. The purchase price includes approximately 12.5 million Whitecap common shares and a cash payment of $180 million and is expected to close mid-January 2022.
· Western Saskatchewan Asset. Whitecap acquired additional Viking production and lands in the Forgan, Kerrobert and Plenty areas. The transaction consolidates our working interests in the Kerrobert area along with significant undrilled inventory at Forgan. The majority of the 239 (171.4 net) identified locations are for extended reach horizontal wells, and Whitecap will implement its proven development strategies across the acquired acreage. The $40 million purchase price was all cash and closed on November 10, 2021.
· Eastern Saskatchewan Asset. Whitecap continues our consolidation of assets in the Weir Hill area and adds 41 (40.0 net) locations, where our conventional Frobisher drilling results have yielded top decile results. The tie-in of flared natural gas is expected to be completed in mid-2022. The purchase price includes 2.7 million Whitecap common shares and approximately $21 million of cash and closed on December 1, 2021.
The Acquisitions are consistent with our strategy of continuing to strengthen our asset base and longer-term sustainability through strategic acquisitions to improve operational efficiencies and increase profitability and returns to our shareholders. The incremental debt added through the Acquisitions and the repurchase of 19.2 million Whitecap shares will be funded with our 2022 discretionary funds flow. We continue to target 50% of discretionary funds flow being returned to shareholders through increased dividends and share buybacks.
There is no change to our 2021 capital spending guidance of $425 - $435 million, and our fourth quarter production guidance is now 119,000 boe/d (75% liquids). For 2022, we are increasing our capital spending guidance by $40 million to $510 - $530 million and production guidance by 9,000 boe/d (67% liquids) to 130,000 – 132,000 boe/d (73% liquids). Including the recent share repurchase, our production per share growth in 2022 is now 11%, up from 3% previously, and is similar to our per share growth in 2021.
We are also pleased to advise that in addition to improving our base business, we continue to make progress with our New Energy initiatives. Whitecap has recently signed an additional Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a CO2 emitter in the Regina/Belle Plaine area. Including the previously announced Federated Co-op Refinery and Ethanol complexes, the aggregate emissions reductions covered by the two MOU’s represents 0.8 - 1.0 million tonnes of annual carbon dioxide to be sequestered. The additional support from other large emitters will further advance our intention to create a centralized hub in the area for economic carbon transportation and sequestration solutions.
We remain constructive on the outlook for Canadian energy, and the Acquisitions, share repurchases, along with the New Energy initiatives, are a continuation of our efforts to increase profitability to generate higher returns to shareholders while improving long-term financial, operational and environmental sustainability of our Company.
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