Goldsmith in Line Up for Petroplus Plants

More potential buyers lined up for the assets of insolvent refiner Petroplus on Thursday, with private equity group Goldsmith registering interest in all five of its plants, writes Reuters. Swiss-based Petroplus is filing for insolvency after battling with high debt and poor refining margins.

Reuters - More potential buyers lined up for the assets of insolvent refiner Petroplus on Thursday, with private equity group Goldsmith registering interest in all five of its plants.

Swiss-based Petroplus, Europe’s largest independent refinery by capacity, is filing for insolvency after battling with high debt and poor refining margins.

The company was forced to close three of its refineries, including Petit Couronne in France, after lenders froze credit lines late in December.

Goldsmith, already a shareholder in Petroplus through a fund, said it had registered its interest with the refiner’s administrators in Germany, Britain and Switzerland.

“Petroplus’ refinery businesses in Germany, Britain and Switzerland, but also in France and Belgium, are sustainable and interesting, despite the current difficulties in this sector,” Goldsmith Group said in a statement.

Goldsmith plans to carry out due diligence on parts of the business in Belgium and France, it said.

A spokesman for the administrators of the Petroplus Ingolstadt refinery in Germany declined to comment on possible investors.

French Energy Minister Eric Besson told France Info radio there were a number of potential buyers for the Petroplus French refinery at Petit Couronne.

Swiss investment vehicle Gary Klesch Group said last week it was considering purchasing the French plant, which stopped production last month, and possibly other refineries owned by Petroplus.

Besson said he hoped he could announce the restart of the refinery within the next 15 days.

The company’s UK refinery at Coryton has attracted more than 40 interested parties, UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry said.

“I understand there have been over 40 expressions of interest in Coryton from companies around the world, which is extremely encouraging. Work will now focus on securing a sustainable long-term future for the refinery,” Hendry said.

DOUBTS

Founded by German businessman Clemens J. Vedder in 2007, Goldsmith dropped out of a bidding race in 2009 for German retailer Metro’s department store chain Kaufhof.

Industry analysts said they doubted private equity groups would be able to turn around Petroplus, because the structural problems facing European refiners had defeated even the biggest oil companies.

Poor margins have forced several European refiners to put plants on the market, and some have been unable to find buyers.

“The majors could not make money out of those assets, and now you have some private equity groups, be it Klesch or Goldsmith, that supposedly can make it better. I doubt it very much,” said Olivier Jakob, an energy analyst at consultancy Petromatrix.

“In the long term, those refineries need somebody involved in the oil trade - a supplier from ex-Russian republics or Asia, not just a financial group that just buys something distressed and then tries to sell it two years afterwards.”

The leveraged finance market, one way private equity groups raise money for purchases, is difficult to tap, bankers say, casting some doubt on the number of potential buyers for Petroplus.

“We need to take things with a pinch of salt. Most oil companies and private equity companies will have, at the very least, kicked the tyres and attempted to get as much information as possible. How many of them are serious (and at what price) is another matter,” said one analyst who has looked at Petroplus.

Refining industry analyst Roy Jordan at Facts Global Energy says more closures are needed for processing margins to recover.

“We can see nothing on the horizon which would provide relief to existing European refiners without a reduction in capacity,” Jordan said. “We cannot see a future for new investment in European refinery distillation capacity. And it is difficult to see how deals with large debt and leverage would be attractive on a sustained basis.”

Shares in Petroplus have plunged since lenders froze credit lines in late December. They jumped 73.4 percent to 1.11 Swiss francs at 1619 GMT.


Hutchison to Buy Orange Austria from France Telecom

Hong Kong’s Hutchison 3G will buy Orange Austria from France Telecom and a private equity fund in a deal valued at 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) including debt, writes Reuters. The deal by the unit of Hutchison Whampoa follows a cluster of outbound M&A transactions from Asia in early 2012 as firms with large cash piles and low debt buy assets in Europe, where economies are struggling with the debt crisis, writes Reuters.

Reuters - Hong Kong’s Hutchison 3G will buy Orange Austria from France Telecom and a private equity fund in a deal valued at 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) including debt, expanding the corporate footprint in Europe of one of Asia’s richest men.

The deal by the unit of Hutchison Whampoa follows a cluster of outbound M&A transactions from Asia in early 2012 as firms with large cash piles and low debt buy assets in Europe, where economies are struggling with the debt crisis.

Hutchison said on Friday it would buy 100 percent of Orange Austria, confirming an earlier Reuters story. Hutchison shares rose as much as 3.8 percent to HK$76.20 on the news, bucking a flat overall market.

Hutchison, controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, has been shopping for regulated infrastructure and utility assets in developed countries, especially Britain, which is open to foreign ownership of its infrastructure assets.

“It is definitely a positive for the future development as the acquisition cost can be lower in the current economic climate,” said Conita Hung, head of equity research at Delta Asia Financial Group.

“It is a good opportunity for those financially strong companies to buy assets in Europe, especially if they believe in the strong growth prospect,” she said.

Li’s business empire bought British utility Northumbrian Water Group for 2.41 billion pounds ($3.81 billion) last year, having paid 5.8 billion pounds to buy the British electricity distribution network of France EDF in 2010.

Li, a high-school drop-out nicknamed “Superman” by Hong Kong media for his deal-making savvy, started out with a plastic flower business and now has a global empire with 26,000 employees in 55 countries.

So far in 2012, Asian corporates have launched about $9.3 billion worth of outbound deals, compared with $181 billion worth transactions attempted the whole of last year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

High-profile deals this year include Shandong Heavy Industry Group’s purchase of a 75 percent stake in debt-laden Italian yacht-maker Ferretti Group and China Investment Corp’s purchase of an 8.7 percent stake in the holding company of Thames Water, the privately held UK utility.

No.3 IN AUSTRIA

Hutchison 3G Austria already operates under the ‘3′ brand, competing against Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile and A1.

Hutchison said the deal would make it Austria’s third-biggest mobile phone operator, with 2.8 million customers and a 22 percent market share. The two units had combined revenues of more than 700 million euros in 2011.

“Overall, we do think the deal offers one of the few relatively visible paths to long-term sustained profitability for 3 Austria,” Bank of America/Merrill Lynch said in a report.

As a second leg of the deal, Hutchison will sell some of Orange Austria’s assets to Telekom Austria for 390 million euros, Telekom said separately.

The assets comprise frequencies, base station sites, mobile phone operator YESSS! Telekommunikation GmbH and certain intellectual property rights, the statement added.

Hutch’s net consideration is 900 million euros, giving the business an enterprise value to EBITDA multiple of 6.9 times.

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch said that the multiple paid by Hutch “is at the high end of comparable private transaction multiples, but below the 7.6 previously speculated.”

EXIT LOW-GROWTH MARKETS

For France Telecom, the sale is the second deal in an ongoing portfolio review aimed at exiting low-growth mature markets and returning cash to shareholders. It recently agreed to sell Orange Switzerland to private equity group Apax Partners for about 1.6 billion euros.

Orange Austria is jointly owned by France Telecom and Mid-Europa Partners.

France Telecom said it expected cash proceeds of 70 million euros from the sale of its 35 percent equity stake in the Austrian business, which had around 1 billion euros of debt. It described the move as “another milestone in the optimisation” of its asset portfolio following the Swiss transaction.

The French company will likely now announce a share buyback programme for up to around 800 million euros, or half of the proceeds of the two sales, according to Raymond James analysts.

“This would also leave more than enough to pay for half of the acquisition of minority interests in Mobistar while the other half would be paid by potential tax synergies,” the analysts said, referring to the Belgian mobile phone operator in which France Telecom is majority shareholder.

Shares in France Telecom were down slightly, in line with the French bluechip CAC 40 index, and have fallen about 5.5 percent so far this year.

Hutchison also owns 3G wireless network operations in Britain, Italy and Australia, among other countries. It competes with Britain’s biggest mobile operator, Everything Everywhere — a joint venture of Orange and T-Mobile — Telefonica SA’s O2 and Vodafone Group Plc.

The wireless business had been losing money over the past decade, but broke even in the second half of 2010 and recovered further last year. Hutchison said it was expected to contribute to the conglomerate’s profits in the second half of 2011.

J.P. Morgan advised Hutchison group on the purchase, while Morgan Stanley advised the sellers, a source familiar with the process said. The source was not authorised to speak to the media.


Policard Leaves Morgan Stanley for KKR

Vincent Policard joins KKR as a director in the firm’s infrastructure team. Policard, who will be based in London, will be responsible for originating and executing transactions in the European infrastructure sector. He joins from Morgan Stanley where he was part of the infrastructure fund team.

PRESS RELEASE

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (together with its affiliates, “KKR”) today announced the appointment of Vincent Policard as a Director in its Infrastructure team. Vincent, who will be based in London, will be responsible for originating and executing transactions in the European infrastructure sector. He joins KKR from Morgan Stanley, where he most recently spent three years in the firm’s infrastructure fund team (MSI). Here he was responsible for originating and executing transactions in the European infrastructure sector, most notably playing a leading role in MSI’s investments in Madrilena Red de Gas, the Spanish gas distributor, and Eversholt Rail Group, the UK rolling stock leasing company.

Over the last year, KKR’s global infrastructure fund made four significant investments, with three of these coming from the European Infrastructure team: in June it partnered with Sorgenia to invest in operating wind assets in France, in July it partnered with Munich Re to acquire a 49% equity stake in Grupo T-Solar, the largest European solar photovoltaic (PV) power generator, and in November it partnered with Criteria CaixaHolding, Torreal, and ProA Capital to acquire an equity stake in Saba Infraestructuras, a leading car parks and logistics operator. In December, KKR’s U.S. infrastructure fund formed a partnership with Google to acquire a portfolio of solar PV projects in California from Recurrent Energy. The partnership involved the creation by KKR of SunTap, a new venture to invest in solar projects in the U.S.

Commenting on his appointment, Vincent said: “Infrastructure as an asset class offers tremendous opportunities and I am excited to be joining such a strong and growing team in this area. KKR has the skills, track record and ambition to become a leader in infrastructure and also brings a great spirit of partnership to each investment it enters. I look forward to applying my experience to further establish KKR’s global infrastructure platform.”

Marc Lipschultz, Global Head of KKR’s Energy and Infrastructure business, said: “Today’s announcement represents a further step in the development of KKR’s energy and infrastructure effort. Being able to attract such senior talent to KKR is a testimony to the growing strength of our infrastructure franchise. Vincent brings with him significant transaction experience, having spent fifteen years in the financial and investing industries and he also has a strong knowledge of all key European markets and established relationships across the sector. He led his teams at Morgan Stanley on notable investments in the infrastructure space and we look forward to welcoming him to the team at KKR.”

Jesus Olmos, European Head of KKR’s Infrastructure Fund, added: “We are very pleased to welcome Vincent to our Energy & Infrastructure team in London. Vincent brings complementary skills to the existing team in terms of execution capabilities and geographic reach, and we look forward to working with him as we build on our strong position in the European energy & infrastructure sector.”

Prior to his most recent role, Vincent spent nine years in Morgan Stanley’s investment banking division, providing advice on M&A and financing issues to corporates and financial sponsors across a variety of sectors and geographies. Before joining Morgan Stanley, Vincent spent three years in BNP Paribas’ investment banking division, based in Frankfurt.

About KKR

Founded in 1976 and led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, KKR is a leading global investment firm with $58.7 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2011. With offices around the world, KKR manages assets through a variety of investment funds and accounts covering multiple asset classes. KKR seeks to create value by bringing operational expertise to its portfolio companies and through active oversight and monitoring of its investments. KKR complements its investment expertise and strengthens interactions with investors through its client relationships and capital markets platform. KKR is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: KKR). For additional information, please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com.


United Silver and Hale Capital Partners Complete $6M Financing

United Silver Corp., a mining company based in Vancouver, has finalized its agreement with New York-based private equity firm Hale Capital Partners, which has issued USC $6 million in secured convertible notes. Proceeds of the loan will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes.

PRESS RELEASE:

United Silver Corp. (”USC” or the “Company”) CA:USC -1.37%  (otcqx:USCZF) and Hale Capital Partners (”Hale” or the “Lender”) are pleased to announce that, subject to final approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”), they have successfully closed their previously announced financing transaction. USC is now in a position to begin its four-year exploration and development plan to test the mineralization of the South Vein and Alhambra Vein at depth and along the east/west strike extensions of the veins.

In the financing transaction, USC issued to Hale a convertible note (the “Convertible Note”) in the principal amount of USD$6,300,000 (being the Canadian equivalent of $6,332,760.00, based on the Bank of Canada noon rate on January 31, 2012) evidencing a loan the proceeds of which were advanced by Hale pursuant to the Convertible Note and a securities purchase agreement (the “Securities Purchase Agreement”) entered into among a wholly owned subsidiary of Hale, as agent and initial purchaser, and USC. USC also issued to Hale 5,040,000 common share purchase warrants (the “Warrants”). Hale will have the right at any time to convert any or all of the principal owing under the Convertible Note into common shares (”USC Common Shares”) of USC at a conversion price of USD$0.50 (being the Canadian equivalent of $0.50, based on the Bank of Canada noon rate on January 31, 2012) per USC Common Share. In addition, Hale will have the right at any time to convert any or all of the accrued and unpaid interest that USC has elected (provided that USC has satisfied certain conditions set out in the Convertible Note) to add to the principal amount of the Convertible Note (”PIK Interest”). The conversion price with respect to PIK Interest will be an amount equal to the “market price” (as defined in the Toronto Stock Exchange Manual) on the applicable interest payment date, subject to the approval of the TSX in each instance. Each whole Warrant will entitle the holder to acquire one USC Common Share at an exercise price of US$0.42 (being the Canadian equivalent of $0.42, based on the Bank of Canada noon rate on January 31, 2012) per USC Common Share for a period of four years from the date of issuance.

If the principal amount of the Convertible Note is fully converted, Hale would hold 12,600,000 or 14.4% of the total number of issued and outstanding USC Common Shares. In the event that all of the Warrants are also exercised, Hale’s holdings would increase to 17,640,000 or 19% of the total number of issued and outstanding USC Common Shares. As the number of USC Common Shares issuable to Hale in respect of PIK Interest, if any, is contingent, in part, upon future values and share prices, the number of USC Common Shares which Hale may acquire should it exercise its conversion rights in respect thereof cannot be determined at this time.

None of the Convertible Note, the Warrants or the USC Common Shares that may be issued upon conversion or exercise, respectively, of these securities, have been registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”), or the securities laws of any state of the United States, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption therefrom under the 1933 Act and the securities laws of all applicable states.

Under the terms of the Securities Purchase Agreement, USC is required to appoint to its board a person mutually agreed upon with Hale and to permit an observer from Hale to attend its Board meetings, subject to conditions.

Hale has filed an early warning acquisition report on SEDAR. A copy of the report may be obtained by contacting Martin Hale at (212) 751-8228.

USC intends to use the net proceeds from the financing for exploration and development and working capital purposes. The loan proceeds will allow USC to continue its exploration and development drifting, bulk sampling and test mining on the South Vein. USC proposes to mill ore from the bulk sampling and test mining under a milling JV agreement with New Jersey Mining Company and to refine it under a contract with Formation Metals at its refinery located less than three miles from the mill. USC intends to use cash generated from operations, including the bulk sampling and test mining activities, to fund an extensive surface and underground drilling program to test the mineralization of the entire Crescent property and develop a property-wide mine plan without further equity raises and dilution.

Hale may or may not purchase or sell securities of the Company in the future on the open market or in private transactions, depending on market conditions and other factors material to Hale’s investment decisions and reserves the right to dispose of any or all of its securities in the open market or otherwise, at any time and from time to time and to engage in hedging or similar transactions with respect to the securities.

ABOUT UNITED SILVER CORP.

USC is a vertically integrated mining company with operations in Idaho, USA. It has earned, through development and operations, an 80% interest in the Crescent Silver Mine project in Idaho’s prolific Silver Belt - directly between two of the world’s historically largest silver producing properties, the Sunshine and Bunker Hill mines. USC also offers a full suite of mining services including contract mining and mine machine repair and fabrication services to silver miners in the district. USC’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “USC”. For more information about USC, please visit: www.unitedsilvercorp.com .

ABOUT HALE CAPITAL PARTNERS

Based in New York City, Hale Capital Partners has established itself as a leading private equity firm focused on strategic investments in public companies and their subsidiaries. Hale Capital Partners’ team is comprised of seasoned private equity veterans and entrepreneurs, who bring not only deep domain expertise but also hands-on operating experience to help build highly successful companies. Hale Capital Partners’ mining portfolio spans all stages of mine development from exploration to commercial production.

Hale’s contact information is as follows:

Hale Capital Partners, L.P.

570 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor

New York, NY 10022

Attn: Martin Hale, CEO and Portfolio Manager

ON BEHALF OF UNITED SILVER CORP.

Graham Clark, Chairman and Interim CEO

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: This press release contains forward-looking statements, which address future events and conditions, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements about USC’s intended use of the net proceeds and that they will enable USC to continue its exploration and development activities, its proposal to mill ore under a milling agreement with New Jersey Mining Company and refine it under a contract with Formation Metals, its intent to use cash from operations to fund an extensive surface and underground drilling program and that it can develop a property-wide mine plan without further equity raises and dilution. These forward-looking statements are based on the expectations and opinions of the Company’s management on the date the statements are made. The assumptions used in the preparation of such statements, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. These assumptions include management’s assumption that the net proceeds of the financing, together with revenue from operations, will generate sufficient cash flow to fund the budget and that the price for metals will continue to make the Company’s activities economically feasible. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors beyond the Company’s control. These risks and uncertainties include the risks inherent in the Company’s activities and the risks identified in the Company’s periodic disclosure filings on the SEDAR website maintained by the Canadian Securities Administrators. The Company expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The TSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this news release.


Private Equity Takes Steps to Fight Bad Rep–UPDATED

The private equity industry is fighting back against the deluge of bad press caused by Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

First up is the Private Equity Growth Capital Council, the advocacy organization that represents the industry. Are PE firms merely corporate raiders whose only intent is to destroy jobs and reap huge profits? Of course not, the PEGCC says.

The group maintains that the PE industry is “simply misunderstood, and actually helps boost the economy by strengthening companies and creating jobs,” according to The Hill.

The PEGCC today unveiled a new campaign, “Private Equity at Work,” that aims to fight those baseless attacks. The effort comes with a new website, www.PrivateEquityAtWork.com, and a resource center that provides educational content, industry data and an “in-depth look at specific PE investments that are driving growth and creating jobs,” PEGCC says in a statement.

UPDATE: Tony James, Blackstone’s heir apparent, also fought back today during the buyout shops Q4 earnings call. James said it was distressing to see “vicious, politically motivated attacks on the private equity business that are both inaccurate and unfair,” the Financial Times reports. While a few deals don’t work out, James says that “these exceptions provide anecdotal fodder for political attack ads.”

“Private equity helps preserve and restore America’s aging industries and moribund assets,” he says in the story. “This takes both large amounts of capital and true operating expertise.” The Blackstone president then cited a $670 million modernization program the buyout shop has undertaken at a U.S. oil refinery, the FT says.

In the Wall Street Journal, Armand Lauzon writes about his experience as CEO of three companies owned by the Carlyle Group. Lauzon was required to put his own capital into the companies, he says. “My clear mandate at every company has been to increase revenues, develop new products and markets, drive profitability, and create a sustainable business for the benefit of shareholders, management and employees. Our view has been distinctly long-term,” says Lauzon, in the story. Lauzon is currently the CEO of Sequa Corp., which Carlyle bought in 2007.

My favorite today? David Rubenstein’s comments about the upcoming Carlyle IPO. Rubenstein, a Carlyle Group co-founder, says he’s taking the firm public to “liquefy” his stake and doesn’t plan to keep all of his riches. “I’m committed to giving away the bulk of my money. If I have money that is available to me as a result of some factors, that’s what I’m going to do with it,” Rubenstein says in the story.

Rubenstein also goes on to defend Romney and his low tax rate. Earlier this month, Romney revealed that he and his wife paid an effective tax rate of 13.9% in 2010. They expect to pay 15.4% when they file in 2011. Yowza. (Yours truly pays around 28%.) Romney’s tax rate is low because most of his income flows from capital gains on investments, according to Reuters.

“When people comply with the law, they shouldn’t be criticized by people who say, ‘The law says you’re supposed to pay X, you should have paid 2X,’” Rubenstein says in the Bloomberg story. “Change the law if you don’t think the law is appropriate.”

SandRidge Energy to Acquire Dynamic Offshore Resources for $1.27 Billion

Publicly traded SandRidge Energy, an oil and natural gas company headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is planning to acquire Dynamic Offshore Resources for $1.275 billion, consisting of roughly $680 million in cash and approximately 74 million shares of SandRidge common stock valued at $8.02 per share.

PRESS RELEASE:

SandRidge Energy, Inc. (NYSE: SD) has entered into an agreement to acquire Dynamic Offshore Resources, LLC for aggregate consideration of $1.275 billion consisting of approximately $680 million in cash and approximately 74 million shares of SandRidge common stock valued at $8.02 per share.  These oil rich assets will add reserves, production and cash flow at an attractive valuation that is consistent with the achievement of SandRidge’s three year plan to triple EBITDA and double oil production while lowering its debt to EBITDA ratio. Dynamic Offshore Resources operates primarily in water depths of less than 300 feet and their current production is approximately 25 Mboed. Dynamic’s year-end 2011 proved reserves are 62.5 MMboe and are valued at approximately $1.9 billion using SEC net present value discounted at 10 percent (PV-10). Of these reserves, 80% of the value and the quantity are proved developed. Approximately 50% of Dynamic’s current production and proved reserves consists of oil. The acquisition will be accretive to SandRidge’s earnings and cash flow per share as well as improve its leverage metrics.

Tom L. Ward, Chairman and CEO of SandRidge, commented, “The value of this acquisition will be evident immediately in our results. We are acquiring these assets for less than PV-10 of the proved developed reserves and at just over $50,000 per flowing barrel. Additionally, we expect these operations to contribute significant free cash flow in excess of the anticipated annual drilling and recompletion capital budget of $200 million.”

SandRidge has secured $725 million in committed financing from BofA Merrill Lynch, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and The Royal Bank of Scotland plc that the company may use to fund the cash portion of the consideration. In addition, the company’s $790 million borrowing base facility remains undrawn. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2012, subject to customary closing conditions.

BofA Merrill Lynch and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey served as financial advisors to SandRidge in connection with the acquisition. SandRidge is represented by Covington & Burling LLP. Dynamic is represented by Vinson & Elkins LLP.

SandRidge Energy, Inc. Announces Year-End 2011 Operations Results

Total proved reserves, adjusted for asset sales, increased 11% to 471 MMboe

Oil reserves, adjusted for asset sales, increased 17% to 245 MMbo

Reserve replacement of 302%

PV-10 (Non-GAAP) of total proved reserves increased 52% to $6.9 billion

Total production growth of 16% to 23.4 MMboe and 60% growth in oil production

Horizontal Mississippian EUR increased 11% to 456 MMboe per well

Current production 67 Mboed

Drilling Activities

SandRidge Energy averaged 31 rigs operating during 2011 and drilled 970 wells. A total of 943 operated wells were completed and brought on production throughout the year. Currently, the company has 38 rigs operating (including 3 drilling saltwater disposal wells). SandRidge plans to drill 1,139 wells in 2012, all targeting oil.

Permian Basin   The company drilled 803 wells in the Permian Basin throughout 2011. SandRidge presently operates 13 rigs in the Permian Basin, all of which are operating on the Central Basin Platform drilling primarily Grayburg/San Andres vertical wells at depths ranging from 4,500 feet to 7,500 feet. The company plans to drill 759 wells in the Permian Basin in 2012.

Mississippian Play   SandRidge drilled 167 horizontal wells in the Mississippian play in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas during 2011. The company presently has 24 rigs operating in the play, of which 21 are drilling horizontal producer wells with 3 drilling saltwater disposal wells. SandRidge plans to increase the Mississippian rig count by one rig per month throughout 2012 and plans to drill 380 horizontal wells in the play this year.

SandRidge Energy, Inc. Announces Year-End 2011 Reserve Summary

SandRidge increased year-end 2011 proved reserves to 471 MMboe, 11% higher than 2010 proved reserves of 423 MMboe (which reflects the divestment of 123 MMboe during 2011) and represents a reserve replacement ratio of 302%.  The Horizontal Mississippian play and the Central Basin Platform contributed reserve growth of 101 MMboe offset by 30 MMboe of downward revisions to gas reserves primarily in the Pinon field.

Essentially all of SandRidge’s 2011 reserve additions were the result of the company’s drilling program.

SandRidge’s 2011 proved reserves included 2,810 gross (2,438 net) PUD locations. Approximately 86% of the PUDs are located in the Horizontal Mississippian play and Permian Basin.

Forty-nine percent of 2011 proved reserves were proved developed, compared with 41% at year-end 2010.

Approximately 96% of the 2011 PV-10 value is associated with the company’s Horizontal Mississippian and Permian core areas.

The company’s 2011 proved reserves had a PV-10 of $6.9 billion, a 52% increase from 2010. Third party engineers including Netherland Sewell and Lee Keeling evaluated a combined 98% of the total proved PV-10 value.

Conference Call Information

SandRidge will host a conference call to discuss this acquisition on Thursday, February 02, 2012 at 8:00am CST. The telephone number to access the conference call from within the U.S. is 866-713-8310 and from outside the U.S. is 617-597-5308. The passcode for the call is 72728503. An audio replay of the call will be available from February 02, 2012 until 11:59pm CST on March 03, 2012. The number to access the conference call replay from within the U.S. is 888-286-8010 and from outside the U.S. is 617-801-6888. The passcode for the replay is 67246058.

A live audio webcast of the conference call will also be available via SandRidge’s website, www.sandridgeenergy.com, under Investor Relations/Events.  The webcast will be archived for replay on the company’s website for 30 days.

SandRidge Energy, Inc. Earnings Conference Call Information

As a reminder, SandRidge Energy, Inc. will release its 2011 fourth quarter and full-year financial and operational results after the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, February 23, 2012.

The company will host a conference call to discuss these results on Friday, February 24, 2012 at 8:00am CST. The telephone number to access the conference call from within the U.S. is 866-700-6379 and from outside the U.S. is 617-213-8836. The passcode for the call is 14163110. An audio replay of the call will be available from February 24, 2012 until 11:59pm CST on March 23, 2012. The number to access the conference call replay from within the U.S. is 888-286-8010 and from outside the U.S. is 617-801-6888. The passcode for the replay is 58664616.

A live audio webcast of the conference call will also be available via SandRidge’s website, www.sandridgeenergy.com, under Investor Relations/Events.  The webcast will be archived for replay on the company’s website for 30 days.

About SandRidge Energy, Inc.

SandRidge Energy, Inc. is an oil and natural gas company headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with its principal focus on exploration and production. SandRidge and its subsidiaries also own and operate gas gathering and processing facilities and CO2 treating and transportation facilities and conduct marketing and tertiary oil recovery operations. In addition, Lariat Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SandRidge, owns and operates a drilling rig and related oil field services business.

SandRidge focuses its exploration and production activities in the Mid-Continent, Permian Basin, Gulf of Mexico, West Texas Overthrust, and Gulf Coast. For more information, please visit SandRidge’s website at www.sandridgeenergy.com.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements express a belief, expectation or intention and are generally accompanied by words that convey projected future events or outcomes. The forward-looking statements include statements relating to the impact we expect the proposed transaction to have on the company’s operations, financial condition, and financial results, our expectations about our ability to successfully integrate Dynamic’s business with ours, and when we expect to close the proposed transaction. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and assumptions and analyses made by us in light of our experience and our perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors we believe are appropriate under the circumstances. However, whether actual results and developments will conform with our expectations and predictions is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including the ability to obtain governmental approvals of the acquisition on the proposed terms and schedule, the risk that the Dynamic business will not be integrated successfully with ours, disruption from the transaction making it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees or suppliers, the volatility of oil and natural gas prices, our success in discovering, estimating, developing and replacing oil and natural gas reserves, the availability and terms of capital, changes in economic conditions, regulatory changes, and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. We refer you to the discussion of risk factors in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 filed with the SEC and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC for the quarters ended March 31, June 30, and September 30, 2011. All of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements. The actual results or developments anticipated may not be realized or, even if substantially realized, they may not have the expected consequences to or effects on our company or our business or operations. Such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.


Iochpe-Maxion Finalizes Acquisition of Hayes Lemmerz

Sao Paulo-based Iochpe-Maxion S.A. announced today that its subsidiary, Iochpe Holdings, has officially acquired Hayes Lemmerz International to create Maxion Wheels, a global wheels business with manufacturing locations in 12 countries.

PRESS RELEASE:

Iochpe-Maxion S.A. (”Iochpe-Maxion”) announced today that its subsidiary, Iochpe Holdings, LLC, has finalized its transaction to acquire Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc. (”Hayes Lemmerz”). The transaction combines the wheel businesses of Iochpe-Maxion and Hayes Lemmerz to create Maxion Wheels, a global wheels business with manufacturing locations in 12 countries and a presence in every major automotive region.

“Iochpe-Maxion is excited to have finalized its transaction to acquire Hayes Lemmerz,” said Dan Ioschpe, CEO of Iochpe-Maxion. “The acquisition of Hayes Lemmerz furthers our strategy of growing our core global business and puts us in an excellent position to offer technologically-advanced products and outstanding services to all of our global customers and to meet their needs in every major geographic region for years to come.”

“Customers will benefit significantly from the transaction,” continued Ioschpe. “As automotive and commercial vehicle manufacturers continue to expand globally, they seek global suppliers who have the resources to invest and grow with them. This acquisition enables us to better meet our customers’ needs by offering a broader and more competitive product line and enhancing service levels.”

Fred Bentley to Lead Maxion Wheels, the New Global Wheel Organization

Fred Bentley, former COO of Hayes Lemmerz, has been named CEO of Maxion Wheels, the new global wheel group of Iochpe-Maxion and will report to Dan Ioschpe. Maxion Wheels will have its headquarters in Northville, Michigan, USA and will combine the wheel businesses of the two companies. “In combining the skills and talents of these two world-class wheel manufacturers, we will be able to better serve the best interests of all our key stakeholders – our customers, our shareholders, our suppliers, and our committed employees all around the world. We anticipate a smooth and successful integration,” Bentley said. “We see many exciting global opportunities, and we have an experienced and talented team ready to pursue them.”