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Birchcliff Energy receives unsolicited interest, seeks buyer

Shares of Birchcliff Energy Ltd. moved up nearly 15 per cent in early trading Monday after the company said it has begun shopping around for a buyer on the heels of unsolicited expressions of interest.

Birchcliff stock was up $1.48 to $11.66 on the Toronto Stock Exchange shortly after markets opened.

The Calgary firm's board did not disclose who the parties were, or how many had expressed interest, but it encouraged shareholders to consider agreeing to sell the company at an acceptable price.

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The sales process has the support of Seymour Schulich, the largest shareholder in the company who holds 26 per cent of the outstanding shares.

Birchcliff currently has production of about 19,250 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

"Birchcliff's two resource plays continue to meet or exceed Birchcliff's expectations," said president and CEO Jeff Tonken in a release.

He added that the company is on track to meet its 2011 guidance and its targeted competition for an expansion of its Pouce Coupe South gas plant at the Montney/Doig horizontal natural gas wells.

The company said it plans to open a data room "as soon as reasonably possible."

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