Hamm encounters shareholder opposition in private takeover effort at Continental Resources

Bill Smead of Smead Capital Management on where to be positioned in the markets


An investor with about a 2% stake in Continental Resources came out this week with a blunt criticism of Harold Hamm’s effort to buy out the remaining shares of the company he founded.

Bill Smead, owner of Smead Capital, the largest Continental shareholder after Hamm and his family, told CNBC that Hamm is trying to “steal” the company from the remaining shareholders. Smead owns 7.29 million shares or a 1.99% stake in the Oklahoma City-based company that Hamm founded in the late 1960s.

Hamm approached the board of directors and offered $4.3 million or $70 a share to buy the remaining 17% of the shares owned by other investors. The offer is an apparent effort by Hamm to return his company to being a private firm after it went public in 2007.

“Harold Hamm is trying to steal the rest of the company away from us minority shareholders because he doesn’t think he’s being treated well in the stock market,” Smead said in the interview Monday on CNBC.

“He thinks his stock is worth $30 or $40/share more than it’s trading at and the only solution is to take it private. Wait until someday when people get out of their ESG coma.”

After closing under $65 a share in trading last week, Continental saw a rebound on Monday and recorded a $2.06 or 3.16% gain to close at $67.28 a share.

On Tuesday, shares gained 41 cents or 0.61% and closed at $67.69.

Source: Seeking Alpha