BHP Billiton has announced a merger acquisition of US based Petrohawk Energy Corporation after agreeing to pay an all-cash tender of US$38.75 per share, paying a total of US$12.1 billion (AUD$11.41 billion).


The transaction would provide BHP Billiton with positions in the three resource operations of the Eagle Ford and Haynesville shales, and the Permian Basin. Petrohawk’s assets cover approximately 1,000,000 net acres in Texas and Louisiana, with estimated 2011 net production of approximately 950 million cubic feet equivalent per day or 158 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day.


“The proposed acquisition of Petrohawk is consistent with our well defined, upstream, Tier 1 strategy and provides us with even greater exposure to the world’s largest energy market, while also broadening our geographic and customer spread. Importantly, our offer and the associated substantial premium represent a unique opportunity for Petrohawk shareholders and recognise the growth opportunities embedded in its portfolio immediately,” BHP Billiton CEO, Marius Kloppers, said


BHP Billiton has cited Petrohawk’s substantial natural gas assets as key to its acquisition strategy, saying that three world-class onshore natural gas and liquids rich shale assets were key to the deal.


The tender offer is expected to commence by 25 July 2011. The acquisition is subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the merger agreement, including a condition that at least a majority of the outstanding Petrohawk shares are tendered, that the waiting period under the U.S.