Wilbur Ross, the legendary billionaire and private equity value investor was just added to the board of Exco Resources (NYSE:XCO). The announcement was made with a press release today from the company.
EXCO Resources, Inc., is anoil and natural gas company, which engages in the exploration, exploitation, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties. The company is a big player in shale natural gas exploration, with properties located in Eastern Texas, Northern Louisiana, Appalachia, and the Permian Basin in Western Texas.
Last year was a banner year for hedge funds in general, as the industry attracted $31 billion worth of net inflows, according to data from HFM. That total included a challenging fourth quarter, in which investors pulled more than $23 billion from hedge funds. HFM reported $12 billion in inflows for the first quarter following Read More
The release noted Ross’ prior success in helping other distressed companies restructuring other companies. $XCO is facing trouble as natural gas prices have fallen to record lows in recent weeks. As more firms have developed technologies for hydraulic fracturing and discovered natural gas in many placees in the US, the price of the commodity has dropped drastically.
Experts estimate that the US has enough natural gas to supply the country’s needs for the next 75-100 years. President Obama has touted natural gas as an alternative fuel at a time when oil prices and gas prices are at a near record price.
Ross had reached an agreement with Exco last year, in which he agreed to remain a passive investor and acquire no more than a 20% stake The agreement expires in February 2013.
Wilbur Ross has been adding shares of the company to his firm, WL Ross & Co. LLC, which currently owns close to 14% of the shares outstanding. In December 2010, Ross had owned 7.5% of shares outstanding.
Ross’ most recent purchase of shares was on February 6th 2012, when Ross bought over 30 million shares at a price of $7.22
We noted in a recent article that Wilbur Ross has long been bullish on the natural gas segment, and stated that the price of the commodity should rise drastically in the future and that it is the least polluting fossil fuel.
At the time of this writing, Exco Resources is trading at 6.94 a share.