Are you just #$%$ having fun this morning? The age of buy-outs is past. Maybe some low-key mergers for scale economies ahead--not much more.
While you define TPLM perfectly well, you didn't point out that its management team has nowhere near the experience you will find at MHR, KOG, and others. I know many disagree with me, but I think this has not served TPLM all that well. Still, they were smart in vertically integrating so early into the game. On the other hand, though KOG has acreage and huge production, and MHR has Ng (and no cash!), TPLM is, without a doubt, the most efficient and intelligently integrated baby oil out there. Its present struggles are the struggles of all the baby oils and she should not be faulted for that. Of the four baby oils I own (all long), none frustrates me more than TPLM. She is the equivalent of the "smartest person in the room" but has not been able to convince enough people that braininess can win over experience.
I believe you are correct with regard to a buy out for most of the baby oils. It could be different here as the integrated model of being more than a production and exploration company can add a lot of value. The implied debt load is the issue on a buy out . So I do agree that it seems unlikely today but give the company 24 months of hitting production forecasts and if the stock is not moving up things could change.In any case it will not be bought out for $16.