Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES) announced today that Elliott Associates, L.P. and its associated entity Elliott International Limited notified Hess this past Friday in writing that they intend to file a Hart-Scott-Rodino Notification and Report Form seeking regulatory clearance to acquire additional Hess shares beyond those they may already own, if any. The correspondence suggests that Elliott may seek to acquire shares valued at more than $800 million. A law firm representing Elliott Associates, L.P. also informed the company that Elliott is considering nominating candidates for election to Hess’s Board of Directors at Hess’s upcoming 2013 annual meeting.
John Hess, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Prior to the letters we received this past Friday, Elliott had not contacted us about their intentions, nor have we had any discussions with them. As we do with all shareholders who engage with us, if Elliott wishes to do so, we will meet to hear their ideas.”
Hess continued, “We have transformed Hess into a predominantly exploration and production company, which is part of a multi-year strategy to grow shareholder value. This strategy is focused on developing lower risk, higher return assets such as those related to our leadership position in the Bakken oil shale of North Dakota.
“We are pleased that the market has been recognizing the success of our strategic transformation as reflected by the fact that Hess shares have significantly outperformed our peers over the past six months. Since July 24, 2012, the last day of trading before we announced our updated strategy, Hess shares have increased approximately 34% versus 13% for our peer index. We are confident that continued execution of our strategy is delivering and will deliver superior and sustainable value to all Hess shareholders.“Today we announced that we are completing our exit from refining with the closure of our Port Reading, New Jersey refinery and we are pursuing the sale of our U.S. oil storage terminal network. The terminals sale, when complete, should release approximately $1 billion of working capital in addition to the proceeds from the transaction. In the past several months, we have announced divestitures of $2.4 billion in non-strategic assets and committed to sell our oil and gas assets in Russia, as well as our Eagle Ford assets in Texas. Proceeds from our divestiture program will help fund our future growth opportunities.”