So long to Boots and Coots

The oil-well services company will be acquired by Halliburton for $250 million. The deal is part of a consolidation trend in the oil-services industry.

By Charley Blaine Apr 12, 2010 3:36PM
If nothing else, Halliburton's (HAL) deal to buy oil-well services company Boots and Coots (WEL) deprives investors of one of the most charming company names in Corporate America.

Halliburton said late Friday it would acquire the company for $3 a share, or about $250 million. About $1.73 a share will be in cash; the balance will be in company stock. The $3 price was a 28% premium over Friday's close.

Boots and Coots shares were up 25.3% to $2.94 today.

The deal is part of an ongoing consolidation trend in the oil services business. The industry struggled in 2009 as demand waned after the big break in oil prices in late 2008.

Baker Hughes (BHI) is about to close on its $6.6 billion purchase of peer BJ Services (BJS), and industry-leader Schlumberger (SLB) in February unveiled an $11 billion deal to buy Smith International (SII).

Halliburton said Boots & Coots' well-intervention and pressure-control services will augment Halliburton's efforts. Boots & Coots management will be retained.

The should boost Halliburton's profit in the first year after closing. Boots & Coots

Halliburton said in January that its fourth-quarter profit fell 48% as it reported weaker revenue, though it saw demand pick up in North America, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Boots & Coots said last month that its fourth-quarter earnings dropped by more than half as revenue declined slightly.

Boots and Coots went public in July 1997 and quickly peaked at $43.20. The price collapsed to 28 cents in 2002 before starting to move higher.

But while revenue jumped from $11 million in 2000 to $209 million in 2009, it fell back to $195 million in 2009.

Earnings per share were 8 cents in 2009, down from 28 cents in 2008.
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