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    Senex backs improved POSCO offer

Summary

The new offer is about 4.5% higher than the previous one.

by: Shardul Sharma

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Senex backs improved POSCO offer

Australian oil and gas producer Senex Energy has received an improved non-binding takeover proposal from South Korea’s POSCO International for a cash price of A$4.60 ($3.26)/share, it said on November 8. Senex will recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the transaction.

The Korean firm in September submitted a revised non-binding proposal to acquire 100% of Senex for a cash offer price of A$4.40/share, the Australian company said last month. The offer valued Senex at A$815mn.

Senex said its board intends to unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the latest proposal, which values the company at A$852mn. POSCO’s offer price is inclusive of the value attributable to the proposed acquisition of two underdeveloped natural gas fields from Australia Pacific LNG announced earlier in the day. Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart's Hancock Energy has expressed interest in buying a stake in Senex if POSCO succeeds with its bid. 

“Subject to negotiating an acceptable scheme implementation agreement, no superior proposal and an independent expert concluding that the transaction is fair and reasonable and therefore in the best interests of shareholders, the Senex board intends to unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the proposed transaction,” the company said.

Senex has agreed to extend POSCO’s exclusivity period to November 21 to provide time to negotiate and enter into a binding scheme implementation agreement and for the Korean firm to obtain its internal approvals. POSCO International has confirmed to Senex that it has now completed all of its due diligence enquiries.