Venoco Soars After CEO Offers To Take Company Private

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Shares of Venoco, the second-largest landowner in California's Monterrey Shale, surged almost 31% on volume that was more than six times the average daily volume after CEO Timothy Marquez offered to take the company private in a transaction valued at $770.2 million.

Marquez already owns more than half of the company. Marquez offered to buy Venoco (VQ) for $12.50 a share, which values the company at a 39% premium to where the stock closed on Friday. Colorado-based Venoco has traded as high as $22.46 over the past 52 weeks and the offer could be viewed as low by some investors.

The offer is a significant discount to the value of the company's assets and may prompt shareholder lawsuits since the stock was trading as high as $22.46, Bloomberg News reported, citing Global Hunter Securities.

The research firm believes other potential bidders could emerge for Venoco such as Occidental Petroleum (OXY), the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, Chesapeake Energy (CHK), the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, Hess (HES) and Plains Exploration & Production (PXP).

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