An affiliate of Cox Oil has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all the outstanding shares of US-based exploration and production company Energy XXI Gulf Coast (EGC) for nearly $322m.

Under the agreement, Cox will acquire all outstanding shares of EGC common stock for $9.10 per fully diluted share in cash.

EGC focuses on the development, exploration and acquisition of oil and natural gas resources in the US Gulf Coast region.

The company is active in the offshore region of Gulf of Mexico, as well as on various assets in Louisiana and Texas.

Following the agreement, EGC has terminated all negotiations with Orinoco Natural Resources, with which it entered a non-binding term sheet last month regarding the divestment of non-core asset portfolio.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with EGC, which expands our presence in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Cox Oil chairman Brad Cox said: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with EGC, which expands our presence in the Gulf of Mexico.

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“The combined entities represent the continuation of our past practices to generate economies of scale through the consolidation of assets without wavering on our commitment to safe and responsible production in the Gulf of Mexico.

“In addition, Cox strives to preserve and protect the natural resources of the US while balancing the need to reduce the abandonment liabilities. We look forward to working with EGC’s assets and team during the transition and into the future.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including EGC’s stockholders and regulatory approvals, and is expected to conclude in the third quarter of this year.