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ATS holds fire

WOODSIDE Petroleum Ltd subsidiary ATS Inc has made good on a promise not to extend its $1.16 billion hostile takeover bid for US-based oil producer Energy Partners Ltd, after failing to reach the minimum acquisition level of 50 per cent. ATS has not accepted any of the shares tendered, instead returning all tendered shares to shareholders and withdrawing its solicitation to remove the EPL board of directors and replace them with its own nominees. Woodside said in a statement last week that ATS had unsuccessfully attempted to obtain confidential data from EPL to assist with a revaluation of the $US23 per share offer price.

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