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Patterson Energy

(PTEN)

and

UTI Energy

(UTI)

agreed to merge in a stock swap valued at about $1.34 billion.

The merger will create a new company called

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Patterson-UTI Energy

. Patterson will exchange one common share for each share of UTI. Shares of UTI climbed 65 cents, or 2%, to $33.75, after trading at a 52-week high of $34.75 in morning

American Stock Exchange

trading. Shares of Patterson fell $1.69, or 4.7%, to $34.38 in recent

Nasdaq

activity.

Patterson, which is based in Snyder, Texas, provides land-based drilling services to independent oil and natural gas companies. UTI Energy is headquartered in Houston and offers contract drilling and pressure pumping services.

Mark S. Siegel, currently UTI's chairman, will be chairman of Patterson-UTI. Cloyce A. Talbott, the current chairman and chief executive of Patterson, will be chief executive. The merger requires shareholder and regulatory approvals.