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The Associated Press April 15, 2011, 9:35AM ET

Chesapeake Energy to acquire Bronco Drilling

Chesapeake Energy Corp. said Friday it plans to acquire Bronco Drilling Co. in a deal valued at about $315 million.

Chesapeake, based in Oklahoma City, said it will pay $11 per share for outstanding shares of Bronco stock. The offer is a 6 percent premium over the closing price of Bronco shares on Thursday.

Bronco shares rose 67 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $11.07 in morning trading, while Chesapeake rose 7 cents to $32.72.

The deal has been approved by boards of directors of both companies. Bronco shareholders get to vote on the deal. The companies hope to complete the transaction by the end of June.

Bronco, based in Edmond, Okla., will become a subsidiary of Chesapeake. Its 22 rigs will be integrated with another Chesapeake subsidiary, Nomac Drilling. Chesapeake said the acquisition should satisfy its needs for new rigs through 2012.

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