Harbour launches $10.3B takeover bid for Santos

Australia’s Santos Energy has received an unsolicited, non-binding, indicative, and conditional takeover offer from Harbour Energy.

According to Santos, the offer, launched on March 29, is for Harbour to acquire a 100 percent of Santos shares by way of a scheme of arrangement.

The indicative offer price is US$4.98 per share, which in Australian dollars, is equivalent to A$6.50. According to Bloomberg, the offer places Santos value at $10.3 billion.

Harbour has indicated that funding for the transaction is to be provided in the form of US$7.75bn of debt that is to be underwritten by J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley and the balance in equity from Harbour, other EIG managed funds and Mercuria Global Energy.

The Harbour Proposal follows three prior unsolicited proposals from Harbour, being: August 14,  2017 (indicative offer price: A$4.55 per share); March 22, 2018 (indicative offer price: A$6.25 per share); and March 27, 2018 (indicative offer price: A$6.37 per share).

“The Santos Board considers that, based on the indicative offer price of A$6.50 per share, it is in the interests of shareholders to engage further with Harbour. Accordingly, Harbour has entered into a confidentiality agreement with Santos to allow Harbour the opportunity to undertake confirmatory due diligence,” Santos board said.

To remind, back in November 2017, reports emerged of Santos holding takeover talks with Harbour.

At the time, Santos dismissed the reports saying it was “not currently engaged in discussions with, and has not received a current proposal from, Harbour Energy regarding a change of control transaction for Santos.”

Santos had previously dismissed Harbour’s August 2017 A$9.5 billion ($7.2 billion) offer, deeming the indicative price inadequate and the sources of funds uncertain.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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