Callon shareholders approve $740 million deal for shale rival Carrizo

(Reuters) - U.S. shale producer Callon Petroleum Co on Friday won shareholder approval to acquire rival Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc with a reduced stock offer, a month after it won the support of a major dissenting stockholder.

The deal was worth about $740 million, based on Friday’s closing price and the reduced offer of 1.75 Callon shares, down from 2.05 shares, for each Carrizo share held. The transaction closed on Friday, the companies said.

When the revised offer was made last month, the deal was valued at about $723 million, significantly lower than the original offer that had valued Carrizo at about $1.2 billion.

In September, Paulson & Co, among Callon’s top investors, had called on the company to abandon the all-stock offer and consider selling itself, arguing the initial 25% premium to Carrizo’s share price was too steep and would increase Callon’s debt.

Paulson dropped its opposition to the deal in November, after the shale producers agreed on a reduced offer, and cut its holding in Callon to about 4.5%, down from 9.5%.

Callon on Friday did not disclose the vote tally, but Chief Executive Joe Gatto said there was “strong support” for the combination of two companies with operations in the Permian Basin, the largest U.S. shale field.

Callon’s shares have fallen about 27% from the day before the deal first became public in July. They traded down 3.6%, or 17 cents, to finish at $4.55. Carizzo fell 5%, or 42 cents, to $7.83.

The July offer was the first Permian takeover proposal since Occidental Petroleum Corp in August closed its $38 billion purchase of Anadarko Petroleum without a vote by its own holders. That deal has wiped off more than 40% from Occidental’s share value.

Reporting by Gary McWilliams in Houston and Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Richard Chang