26/03/2018 - 13:35

Mitsui locks in deadline for AWE takeover

26/03/2018 - 13:35

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Japanese group Mitsui & Co has announced it will not extend the deadline on its $602 million takeover offer for AWE and confirmed its offer price of 95 cents per share is final.

Mitsui locks in deadline for AWE takeover
AWE has a 50 per cent stake in the Waitsia project in the Perth Basin.

Japanese group Mitsui & Co has announced it will not extend the deadline on its $602 million takeover offer for AWE and confirmed its offer price of 95 cents per share is final.

Mitsui made its bid for the Waitsia gas field operator in January and has received a unanimous recommendation from AWE’s board.

The Japanese company now has a 16.5 per cent stake in AWE and said it will not extend its offer deadline of April 6 unless it owns less than 50 per cent of the company.

“The AWE directors continue to unanimously recommend that AWE shareholders accept the offer and each AWE director intends to accept the offer for all the shares they hold or otherwise control,” Mitsui said.

“Mitsui’s offer has now been open for six weeks, providing sufficient time for AWE shareholders to assess the merits of the offer and for any other party to make a competing offer.

“Mitsui confirms that it intends to declare the offer unconditional and provide accelerated payment terms such that AWE shareholders will be paid within seven business days if it acquires an interest in AWE shares of more than 50.1 per cent prior to the offer’s scheduled closing date.”

AWE has fielded three takeover offers since November, one each from CERCG Australia, Mineral Resources and Mitsui.

Prior to the Mitsui bid, AWE had entered into a scheme implementation deed with Mineral Resources, after receiving and recommending a proposal of 83 cents per share, in the absence of a superior offer.

AWE is the operator and 50 per cent owner of the Waitsia gas field in the Perth Basin, which is considered the largest onshore gas discovery in Australia in the past 40 years.

Shares in AWE were off 0.5 per cent at 94 cents each.

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