Primary Cash Investment into Benchmark to Advance its Strategy of Acquiring North American Operated Oil and Gas Assets
Acacia Research Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTG) (“Acacia” or the “Company”) today announced that it has acquired a majority interest in Benchmark Energy II, LLC (collectively with its affiliates, “Benchmark”). Headquartered in Austin, TX, Benchmark is an independent oil and gas company engaged in the acquisition, production and development of oil and gas assets in mature resource plays in Texas and Oklahoma. Benchmark is run by an experienced management team led by Chief Executive Officer Kirk Goehring, who previously served as Chief Operating Officer of both Benchmark and Jones Energy, Inc. Benchmark’s existing assets consist of over 13,000 net acres primarily located in Roberts and Hemphill Counties in Texas, and an interest in over 125 wells, the majority of which are operated.
Acacia has made a control investment in Benchmark and intends to utilize its significant capital base to acquire predictable and shallow decline, cash-flowing oil and gas properties whose value can be enhanced via a disciplined, field optimization strategy, with risk managed through robust commodity hedges and low leverage. Under the terms of the transaction, McArron Partners (“McArron”), Benchmark’s existing lead investor, retains its investment in Benchmark and plans to commit additional capital to support growth.
Martin (“MJ”) D. McNulty, Jr., Acacia’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“We are excited to be partnering with Kirk, Jonny Jones of McArron Partners and team in this transaction. We have been enthusiastic about the strategy of acquiring producing oil and gas assets at attractive valuations for quite some time. When Kirk and Jonny approached us about this partnership, it became clear that now is the right time to pursue this strategy. Benchmark’s existing assets are well-known, high-quality assets with attractive return profiles. The Benchmark team has a demonstrated track record of value creation across market cycles, and we look forward to growing the business together.”
Mr. Goehring added:
“Acacia has a deep understanding of our business and is the right long-term partner to support Benchmark’s continued growth. We look forward to working with MJ and the Acacia team, with whom we have a strong previous relationship, to unlock substantial value for all stakeholders. This new partnership will allow Benchmark to pursue larger, accretive acquisitions and drive value in our existing operations.”
Acacia (Nasdaq: ACTG) is a publicly traded company that is focused on acquiring and operating attractive businesses across the industrial, healthcare, energy, and mature technology sectors where it believes it can leverage its expertise, significant capital base, and deep industry relationships to drive value. Acacia evaluates opportunities based on the attractiveness of the underlying cash flows, without regard to a specific investment horizon. Acacia operates its businesses based on three key principles of people, process and performance and has built a team with demonstrated expertise in research, transaction execution, and operations management.
Additional information about Acacia and its subsidiaries is available at https://www.acaciaresearch.com/.
About Benchmark Energy II, LLC
Benchmark Energy II is an independent oil and gas company engaged in the acquisition, production and development of oil and gas assets in mature resource plays in Texas and Oklahoma.
About McArron Partners
McArron Partners is the investment arm of the Jones family of Albany, Texas. McArron’s Chief Executive Officer is Jonny Jones, founder of Jones Energy and former Chairman of the Texas Oil & Gas Association and U.S. Oil & Gas Association. McArron deploys its capital in a mix of global public and private investments. The Jones family has supported energy entrepreneurs for more than five decades.
Safe Harbor Statement
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the Company’s current expectations and speak only as of the date hereof. This news release attempts to identify forward-looking statements by using words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” or other forms of these words or similar words or expressions or the negative thereof, although not all forward-looking statements contain these terms. The Company’s actual results may differ materially and adversely from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and uncertainties, including the ability of the Company and Benchmark to successfully operate their strategic partnership, the performance of Benchmark’s assets, the Company’s ability to successfully implement its strategic plan, changes to the Company’s relationship and arrangements with Starboard Value LP, the Company’s ability to successfully identify and complete strategic acquisitions of businesses, divisions, and/or assets, legislative, regulatory and competitive developments relating to the energy sector, changes in the price of crude oil and natural gas, general economic conditions, and the success of the Company’s investments. For additional information related to the risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, refer to the section entitled “Risk Factors” included in Part I, Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022. In addition, actual results may differ as a result of additional risks and uncertainties of which the Company is currently unaware or which the Company does not currently view as material. Except as otherwise required by applicable law, the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.