Founder makes share acquisition

A familiar name has resurfaced in the local energy sector.

A familiar name has resurfaced in the local energy sector.

Jed Wood announced on Wednesday that he has acquired beneficial ownership and control of nearly 33 million common shares of High Arctic Energy Services Inc. (TSX: HWO).

These represent more than 15.35 per cent of High Arctic’s outstanding common shares, and when combined with shares that Wood previously owned or controlled, give him more than 52 million shares or 24.34 per cent of the company’s outstanding common shares.

A news release issued by Wood said he acquired the additional shares through a shares-for-debt transaction at a subscription price of 25 cents of debt per share, or $8.2 million. This satisfies High Arctic’s indebtedness to Wood.

The shares are subject to a four-month holding period.

Wood, who could not be reached for comment, co-founded High Arctic in 1993. He grew the company from a single-rig operation to one active around the world.

In December 2008, he resigned as president and CEO of High Arctic. A news release issued by High Arctic at that time said Wood wanted to “focus his efforts on working with an investor group on a possible ‘going private’ transaction to acquire control of High Arctic.”

The company said this March that it had struck a deal with Wood to convert debt owing to him into equity, and also planned to convert other outstanding debt obligations into common shares. The proposals were subject to several conditions, including shareholder approval.

During the past two years, High Arctic has sold a variety of assets to reduce its debt load.

High Arctic provides specialized oilfield equipment and services, including drilling, completion and workover operations.

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