PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Beach Energy has withdrawn from the race for ownership of takeover target Warrego Energy, saying on Friday that it will not match the revised offer from Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Energy.
Hancock Energy earlier this week increased its offer price from 23c a share to 28c a share, after Beach Energy at the end of last week increased its own takeover offer from 20c a share to 25c a share, after Hancock Energy’s initial bid.
Fellow suitor Strike Energy, which had launched the bidding war for Warrego Energy by offering 0.714 of its own shares for each Warrego share held, this week revealed that it had amassed a near 19.9% stake in the takeover target by entering into a share swap agreement with various Warrego shareholders, at a one-for-one exchange ratio.
Beach on Friday announced that the company had taken the decision not to exercise its matching right under a scheme implementation agreement signed with Warrego Energy, and instead would focus on its own acreage.
“The multiple party bidding process for Warrego has reinforced our view of the value of our dominant acreage position in the Perth basin and encourages us to expand our current active exploration drilling programme in one of the most exciting gas plays in Australia,” Beach CEO Morné Engelbrecht said on Friday.
“In applying Beach’s disciplined approach to inorganic growth, we propose to invest further exploration capital into our existing prospects and drilling inventory in the Perth basin. Beach will look to accelerate exploration, development and commercialisation of our acreage to deliver more gas for Western Australia,” Engelbrecht said.
With Beach out of the running, Warrego Energy on Friday revised its recommendation that shareholders accept the Beach offer, urging shareholders to accept the Hancock Energy takeover offer, in the absence of a superior proposal.
As for Strike’s shareholding in the company, Warrego said the suitor’s increased stake in Warrego would not impact the availability of the Hancock Energy offer, as the transaction was not subject to any minimum acceptance condition.
Hancock Energy’s offer, once it opens, will remain open until January 31, unless extended.