Enerplus Completes US Shale Gas Acquisition and Equity Financing

On September 1, 2009, Enerplus Resources Fund completed a US$411 million acquisition of an average 21.5 per cent working interest in certain areas in the Marcellus shale natural gas play in the northeastern United States from a vendor group led by Chief Oil & Gas LLC. Approximately US$164.4 million was paid at closing with the remainder of the purchase price to be paid by Enerplus as a “carry” of a portion of the vendors' capital requirements on the properties under a joint development agreement between Enerplus and the vendors. The cash portion of the purchase price paid at closing was effectively funded by a Canadian bought deal financing of approximately $214 million of Enerplus's trust units co-led by CIBC World Markets Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, which was completed on September 9, 2009.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP assisted David McCoy, vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Enerplus, on the transactions with a team consisting of Ron Deyholos, Chris Christopher and Jana Prete (energy); Brock Gibson, Chad Schneider, Kevin Long and Katie McDonald (securities) and Ronald Mar (tax). Enerplus's US counsel on the Marcellus acquisition was Bracewell & Giuliani LLP with a team comprised of Bryan Loocke and Alan Rafte (energy) and Gregory Bopp (tax).

The vendors of the Marcellus shale gas interests were represented by David Hundley, the general counsel for Chief Oil & Gas, together with Arthur Wright and Debra Villarreal of Thompson & Knight LLP. Counsel for the underwriters in the Canadian equity financing was Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP with a team consisting of Alyson Goldman, James Kidd and Jessica Strocen (securities) and Kirk Lamb (tax).