Victory Energy Calls Off Merger With Lucas Energy After Default

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- The all-stock merger between troubled companies Lucas Energy (LEI) and Victory Energy  (VYEY) is off.

Lucas Energy, a Houston-based independent oil and gas company with operations in Texas, announced Friday that oil and gas explorer and producer Victory Energy terminated the LOI for the merger. Lucas Energy defaulted on its debt earlier this year, while Austin, Texas-based Victory Energy was the subject of a going-concern warning by its auditors in March.

Victory Energy is focused on the Permian Basin, while Lucas Energy has concentrated on the Austin Chalk and Eagle Ford formations in South Texas.

Lucas Energy's stock closed at 17.8 cents on Monday, down 8.77%. Victory Energy's stock closed at 21 cents on Friday, down 27.6%

The merger, which was announced on Feb. 4, would have issued the majority of Lucas Energy's equity to Victory Energy's shareholders and would not have included any cash payment. Victory Energy's shareholders and its partner, Navitus Energy Group, would have held the majority of Lucas Energy's stock once the transaction was completed. Navitus Energy is a group of 120 investors who are doctors and other high net worth individuals. 

The merged company was going to be called Renaissance Natural Resources Corp. The company would have been 40%-owned by Lucas Energy shareholders, 30%-owned by Victory Energy shareholders and 30%-owned by Navitus Energy Group, according to an April 20 presentation about the merger.

Victory Energy had agreed to help provide Lucas Energy with the $12 million it was expected to need until the merger closed. The merger was expected to reduce Lucas Energy's debt by at least $8 million.

According to the presentation, Lucas Energy was also looking to secure $125 million in capital, with $50 million coming from a global energy capital provider and $75 million coming from a boutique investment bank and institutional broker dealer. The Friday statement said Victory Energy won't extend further credit to Lucas Energy and the companies are in the process of unwinding the steps they've taken for the merger.

Lucas Energy's CEO Anthony C. Schnur couldn't be reached for comment on Monday. The company's media contact, Ken Dennard, also couldn't be reached for comment. Victory Energy's CEO Kenny Hill couldn't be reached for comment on Monday.

On Jan. 30, Lucas Energy disclosed that it received a notice of default from its secured lender, Louise H. Rogers, after missing a $266,000 principal payment on its debt on Dec. 13 and failing to make an interest payment on its debt in January. Due to the default, pricing on the $7.7 million outstanding note has increased to 18% from 12%.

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