George Fink doesn’t make a lot of noise. He’s too busy building his company the right way. Since he rarely requires funding from the capital markets, Fink doesn’t need to be promotional in order to drum up investor interest.
One of the beautiful things about investing alongside entrepreneurial management teams is that they usually own a significant number of shares in the company. That is the case with Fink and, as a result, he protects Bonterra Energy’s share count and capital like the precious commodities they are. After all these years, Bonterra still only has 33 million shares outstanding. The initial public offering for Bonterra was done at $0.20 per share. Since then, shares have been as high as $60, and that doesn’t even factor in the $30-plus of dividends the company has paid.
Nearly two decades ago, Fink had a vision that someday technology would unlock a whole lot more of the oil and gas that is trapped in the ground. That led him to accumulate a significant amount of land in the Alberta Cardium before it had significant value to anyone else. He was right of course. Land that he paid pennies for is now worth big dollars for Bonterra.
Like many great businessmen, Fink is a contrarian by nature. When others are selling, he is buying.
In 2015, Fink had Bonterra in the financial position to be an acquirer while others needed to sell. The company picked up a very complementary piece of the Cardium from Enerplus for $172 million. Had he known that oil would still be so low, Fink likely would have waited. The key point to note is that his management ability had built the company to be in a position of strength when others needed to sell.
Today, Bonterra is producing just under 13,000 boe/d, and is still paying a dividend, albeit a reduced one. With 773 net drilling locations remaining in the Cardium, the company has years of dividend paying left in front of it.
BONTERRA CEO GEORGE FINK