TAG Oil Announces Private Placement, Stock Grants

(TAG Oil, 1.Sep.2020) — TAG Oil Ltd. announce the following corporate updates including management and board appointments, private placement and stock option grants.

Management And Board Of Directors

Mr. Abdel (Abby) Badwi has joined the Company as Executive Chairman of the board of directors, along with Mr. Suneel Gupta who has been appointed as VP and COO of the Company. Messrs. Shawn Reynolds and Thomas Hickey have also been appointed to TAG’s board of directors as non-executive directors.

Mr. Toby Pierce commented “On behalf of TAG’s management and board of directors, I would like to welcome Mr. Badwi and Mr. Gupta to the management team of the Company. They both bring a wealth of experience in leading and growing many successful energy companies. Mr. Badwi’s strong background and proven track record of increasing corporate performance and enhancing shareholder value will be a significant asset to our Company. The Company’s board would also like to welcome Mr. Reynolds with his extensive experience in the capital markets energy sector and Mr. Hickey with his legal and corporate governance expertise. We are looking forward to working with the new members of our management and board to develop our next strategic business plan and lead our Company on its exciting new chapter of pursuing consolidation opportunities through the acquisition of assets and/or companies in our initial focus area of Middle East and North Africa where the expanded management team bring a wealth of expertise and established relationships with a range of host government officials and industry partners.”

To facilitate these new appointments to TAG’s board, Messrs. Ken Vidalin, David Bennett, and Brad Holland have resigned from their positions as non-executive directors. The Company’s management and board would like to sincerely thank Messrs. Vidalin, Bennett, and Holland for their many contributions and commitment during their time with TAG.

The remaining members of TAG’s management and board will continue in their respective positions, with the board of directors now consisting of Messrs. Abdel (Abby) Badwi (Executive Chairman), Toby Pierce (CEO), Shawn Reynolds, Thomas Hickey, Keith Hill, Peter Loretto, and Gavin Wilson.

The following sets out the names and backgrounds of the newly appointed officers and directors of TAG:

Mr. Abdel (Abby) Badwi, Executive Chairman

Mr. Badwi is a geologist and petroleum industry executive with more than 40 years of international upstream experience, leading public and private energy companies with oil and gas assets in many international jurisdictions. During this period, Mr. Badwi has completed several corporate mergers and numerous corporate and asset acquisitions and has a strong capital markets following in North America and Europe. Mr. Badwi has been a corporate board member of several public and private companies including Verano Energy in Colombia and Arpetrol Corp. in Argentina; both companies were successfully sold in 2014 and 2016.

Mr. Badwi most recently served as President and CEO of Kuwait Energy, an E&P company with operations in Egypt, Iraq and Oman and successfully led the sale of the company in 2019. Mr. Badwi has previously served as President and CEO of Bankers Petroleum Ltd. with oil production operations in Albania from 2008 to 2013 (and Vice Chairman until 2016), and the company was sold in 2016. Mr. Badwi has also served as President, CEO and a director of Rally Energy from 2005 to 2007, a company with oil production in Egypt and natural gas in Pakistan; he successfully led the sale of the company in 2007.

Mr. Badwi was the Recipient of Albania’s high distinction Presidential Award for Special Civil Merits and the Recipient of the Atlantic Council of Canada’s Award for Corporate Social Responsibility and Economic Sustainability. Mr. Badwi is also a member of the Canadian Institute of Corporate Directors.

Mr. Suneel Gupta, VP and COO

Mr. Gupta is a senior executive in the international petroleum oil and gas industry with over 30 years of experience and a successful track record of value creation in oil and gas.

Mr. Gupta joined Bankers Petroleum Ltd. in July 2004 as a founder and held several key roles with the company including President and CEO, Executive VP and COO, VP Production & Operations, VP Business Development and General Manager for Albania. Mr. Gupta has been directly involved in growing the company from 500 bopd in 2004 to over 22,000 bopd by 2014 and more than doubling booked reserves for the assets in Albania. Mr. Gupta introduced and oversaw many key western Canadian operational practices over his tenure at Bankers Petroleum that included horizontal drilling, polymer flooding, and an institutional grade health and safety/field operations program that set international standards for excellence and performance.

Prior to joining Bankers Petroleum, Mr. Gupta held senior positions with several petroleum companies where he was integral to the development of oil properties in international countries as well as in Canada including Husky Energy Inc., Renaissance Energy Ltd., Pinnacle Resources Ltd. and Chevron Canada Resources Ltd.

Mr. Gupta holds a Bachelor and Master of Science in chemical engineering both from the University of Calgary.

Mr. Shawn Reynolds, Non-Executive Director

Mr. Reynolds is Portfolio Manager of Van Eck Securities Corporation which he joined in 2005. He currently serves as Portfolio Manager for Van Eck’s Global Hard Assets Strategy where he is responsible for company research and portfolio construction. Prior to joining Van Eck, he was employed as an energy equity analyst covering North American, European, and global energy companies out of New York, Denver, London and Australia with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers and Petrie Parkman.

Prior to his career in finance, Mr. Reynolds worked as an exploration geologist for Tenneco Oil Company. Mr. Reynolds was previously Vice Chairman of Kuwait Energy Company, and a board member of several private Latin American oil and gas exploration companies. He is a member of the board of trustees at Hackensack Meridian Health Hospitals Corp., the Riverview Medical Center Foundation, Trinity Hall, and Former President and current member of the board of trustees at the Rumson Country Day School.

Mr. Reynolds received an M.B.A. in finance from Columbia University, an M.A. in petroleum geology from the University of Texas, Austin, and a B.S. in engineering from Cornell University. 

Mr. Thomas Hickey, Non-Executive Director

Mr. Hickey is an attorney of the State of California and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. Mr. Hickey brings to TAG over 20 years’ international oil and gas sector experience in M&A, corporate governance, compliance & ethics, and group restructuring and consolidation during his time with the operators Hess Corporation and Kuwait Energy and the service contractors Transocean and Subsea 7.  

Beginning his career in London, England, Mr. Hickey has since been expatriated to Houston, New York, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait City and Paris to support growth strategies and implement fit-for-purpose and effective corporate governance and compliance. Currently, Mr. Hickey is Head of Corporate Legal for Roquette Frères S.A. and based in France.

Mr. Hickey received an MBA from Strathclyde University (distinction) and is a certified CEDR mediator.

Private Placement And Stock Options

In connection with the above appointments, Messrs. Badwi, Reynolds, Hickey and Gupta, along with a consultant, have agreed to purchase, on a non-brokered private placement basis, 6.25 million units (“Units”) at a price of C$0.16 per Unit for aggregate gross proceeds of C$1.0 million. Each Unit consists of one common share (“Common Share”) and one common share purchase warrant (“Warrant”), with each Warrant entitling the holder thereof to acquire one Common Share in the capital of the Company at a price of C$0.16 per Common Share for a period of three years from the date of closing. The private placement is subject to the final approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.

The proceeds from the private placement will be used for working capital purposes and added to TAG’s current cash balance of ~C$14.5 million, with no debt on the balance sheet. This is supplemented by the quarterly royalty payments and ESP payments receivables from Tamarind Resources Pte. Ltd. as part of the sale of substantially all of TAG’s Taranaki Basin assets and operations in New Zealand.

In the Surat Basin of Australia, TAG will continue to assess all available opportunities to maximize value for its shareholders, including exploring strategic partnerships and opportunities for its three 100% controlled blocks (PL17, ATP 2037 and ATP 2038) covering over 275,000 acres.

TAG also announces the grant of 4.85 million stock options exercisable for a period of five years at a price of C$0.25 per share to the newly appointed officers, directors, and consultant. The options will be subject to deferred vesting over three years. This is part of TAG’s ongoing strategy of granting share options to attract and retain talent, as well as motivating its team to work towards ensuring the success and value creation at TAG.

About TAG Oil Ltd. 

TAG Oil Ltd. (http://www.tagoil.com/) is a Canadian based international oil and gas explorer with exploration and production assets in Australia.

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