Shares of exploration and production company Torchlight Energy (TRCH) fell a quick 18% when trading opened on April 16. The big news was an after-the-close update on April 15 discussing the U.S. energy company's complex merger agreement with Canada's Metameterial (MMAT.F).
The deal between Torchlight and Metamaterial isn't your typical merger. It is, effectively, a way for Metamaterial to get a U.S. listing without having to go through an initial public offering. Indeed, as the company's name implies, it does not drill for oil and gas, but operates in the materials space. Following the merger it will be looking to jettison Torchlight's energy assets.
That said, the consummation of this deal hasn't gone smoothly. On March 15 Torchlight announced that it had to push out the expected closing time frame for the deal, which led to a quick decline in the share price. Now, just one month later, it has again announced that it is pushing back a key deadline for the deal. Not surprisingly, Investors reacted the same way, pushing the stock lower.
Most investors will probably want to sit on the sidelines here given the unusual nature of the Torchlight/Metamaterial deal. The ongoing delays, meanwhile, just make the situation that much more uncertain. In the end, it's probably best to wait until the two companies get this acquisition over the finish line so investors can get a full picture of what the combined company looks like when it comes out the other side.