Chevron Corporation, a global energy giant, announced on Monday that it has entered into a groundbreaking agreement to acquire Hess Corporation in a stock deal valued at $53 billion. This mega-merger marks the second major consolidation within the U.S. oil industry, following Exxon Mobil’s recent $60 billion bid for Pioneer Natural Resources.
Under the terms of this proposed deal, Chevron will exchange 1.025 of its shares for each Hess share, amounting to approximately $171 per share. This represents a premium of roughly 4.9% compared to the stock’s last closing price. The total transaction value, including the assumption of debt, is estimated at $60 billion.
While this merger is expected to elevate Chevron’s position in the U.S. oil and gas sector, it also intensifies the competition between Chevron, currently the second-largest U.S. oil and gas producer behind Exxon, and its larger counterpart. Both companies are seeking to expand their drilling operations in the emerging oil-producing region of Guyana.
The move signifies Chevron’s strategic commitment to increasing investments in fossil fuels. It reflects the sustained strength in global oil demand and the desire of major industry players to replenish their reserves after a period of limited investment.
The decision has raised some eyebrows within the industry. Analysts from RBC expressed their surprise at the timing of the deal and had initially anticipated Chevron to adopt a more measured approach in the wake of Exxon’s monumental acquisition of Pioneer.
Guyana has emerged as a significant oil-producing nation in recent years, following substantial oil discoveries. It is now one of Latin America’s leading oil producers, ranking just below Brazil and Mexico in terms of output.
Currently, Exxon, in partnership with Hess and China’s CNOOC, stands as the sole active oil producers in Guyana. Together, their projects are projected to reach an impressive 1.2 million barrels per day in production by 2027.
Upon the completion of this merger, John Hess, CEO of Hess Corp, is expected to join Chevron’s board of directors, an indicator of the collaborative and strategic nature of this consolidation.
The amalgamated company is anticipated to achieve accelerated growth in production and generate higher levels of free cash flow than what Chevron had outlined in its existing five-year guidance. This move underscores the commitment to a confident outlook on energy prices and cash generation.
Goldman Sachs played a pivotal role as the lead adviser to Hess in this transaction, while Morgan Stanley took on the lead advisory role for Chevron.