UPDATE 1-EXCO CEO says $4.36 bln bid a bet on assets, not gas

* CEO says offer not contingent upon gas prices

* Says does not want a lot of leverage in deal

* Says Pickens very interested in teaming up

* Believes gas will be cheap for next 12-18 months

By Krishna N Das

BANGALORE, Nov 3 (BestGrowthStock) – EXCO Resources Inc’s (XCO.N: )
CEO said his $4.36 billion bid for the gas-focused explorer he
helms was not contingent upon gas prices but assets, and he did
not want a highly leveraged deal.

EXCO Chief Executive Douglas Miller recently teamed up with
investors including oilman T. Boone Pickens to bid for the
Dallas-based company. [ID:nSGE6A00GV]

“I don’t want to start with too much leverage … If
investors say we got to put a lot of leverage, I’m going to
back off. We need a lot of equity,” the CEO said on a call with
analysts.

The executive, who currently has a 2.15 percent stake in
EXCO and offered to buy the remaining shares at $20.50 apiece,
also said,”Pickens was very interested in teaming up with us,
if we can get it done.”

“Fair offer, in-line with our one-year target price …
This announcement is likely to benefit undervalued shale gas
producer,” Scotia Capital said in a note.

Miller said he believes gas was going to be cheap for at
least next 12-18 months and hence there was an opportunity to
go private and make some acquisitions.

“This is not a bet on gas. I’m betting on the assets and
the people,” he said.

EXCO executives said the company was looking at acreage
buys in Haynesville and Marcellus shales. [ID:nWNAB9446]

“The last couple of days, between guys threatening to sue
me, somebody is saying they might be interested, and I never
heard of them, I wouldn’t call that a real indication of
interest,” Miller, who had taken EXCO private for $18 per share
in 2003, said on the call.

EXCO’s shares, which are up by a third since the offer was
made public on Monday, were down 2 percent at $18.65 on
Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Krishna N. Das in Bangalore; Editing by Vyas
Mohan)

UPDATE 1-EXCO CEO says $4.36 bln bid a bet on assets, not gas