Mitsui starts compulsory acquisition of remaining AWE shares. ASX delisting expected by end of May

Mitsui’s A$580 million takeover bid for all of the shares of Australia’s oil and gas company AWE closed at 7 pm Sydney time on Thursday. 

At the time of closing Mitsui had a relevant interest in 96.47% of AWE’s issued share capital.

“As announced on 24 April 2018, Mitsui has commenced the compulsory acquisition process for the remaining AWE shares in accordance with the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth),” AWE said on Thursday.

To remind, Mitsui in January filed a takeover offer A$0.95 per share, beating a previous offer made by Australia’s Mineral Resources.

In a statement on Thursday, Mitsui said it would delist AWE from the Australian Securities Exchange. This is expected to be completed by the end of May 2018.

AWE is an independent oil and gas company with offshore and onshore oil and gas operations in the Asia Pacific region.

It’s been reported that the interested parties have been particularly in awe of AWE’s large Waitsia gas field near Perth, Australia.

This was confirmed in December by one of the bidders, China’s CERCG who said: “…CERCG Australia acknowledges that the Waitsia Gas Field, and its increasing 2P Reserves and future development, has the potential to return value to AWE Shareholders in the longer term…”

CERCG had offered $0.73 AWE share, but it later withdrew from the bidding race. In its recent annual report, AWE said it optimized its assets to focus on gas in the near to medium term “and is aligned with strengthening Australian domestic gas markets.”

The company’s priorities focus on on the development of Stage 2 of the Waitsia gas project in Western Australia and securing new gas sales contracts for Casino and BassGas on the east coast at substantially higher prices.

AWE discovered the Waitsia field in September 2014. Further drilling and testing through to late 2017 culminated in AWE increasing its estimates of 2P Reserves for the field to 820 PJ (100% basis, 410 PJ AWE share) in December 2017, and the Waitsia field now ranks in the top five largest onshore gas discoveries in Australia.

Waitsia is located in an established gas producing region of Western Australia, close to existing gas transportation and storage infrastructure and the Perth metropolitan demand center.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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