06/03/2015 - 10:12

Tap flags company sale amid takeover threat

06/03/2015 - 10:12

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Perth-based oil and gas company Tap Oil has launched a strategic review process that includes the possible sale of the business, after one of its substantial shareholders proposed a board shake-up.

Tap flags company sale amid takeover threat

Perth-based oil and gas company Tap Oil has launched a strategic review process that includes the possible sale of the business, after one of its substantial shareholders proposed a board shake-up.

In a letter to shareholders today, Tap non-executive director Douglas Schwebel said Thai entrepreneur Chatchai Yenbamroong wanted to replace three existing directors with new nominees.

This meant he would nominate 80 per cent of the board when he only has voting control over 19.9 per cent of Tap’s shares.

That prompted the company to announce a strategic review process, which includes either selling the business or offloading assets, including its flagship Manora oil developemnt in Thailand, and its non-core Australian portfolio.

“The Tap board is unanimous in its view that this is an opportunistic attempt by Mr Yenbamroong to take control of your company without making a formal offer and paying a control premium to all Tap shareholders,” Mr Schwebel said.

“The Tap board and management have been and are continuing to investigate all available options to manage the company through this period."

The company has appointed Miro Advisors to manage the Australian asset portfolio divestment options, and Corrs Chambers Westgarth to assist with the strategic review process.

Tap said it was considering a potential sale of the business after seeing the outcomes achieved by shareholders in other ASX-listed companies with Australian and Asian oil production portfolios in control transactions, such as Fosun's acquisition of Roc Oil and Bangchak's Nido Petroleum buy.

Mr Schewbel told shareholders to expect to receive a letter from Mr Yenbamroong soon which will outline why he wants to replace three of the four directors of the company and what his nominated directors would do differently to combat the falling oil prices.

Tap shares were 1.6 per cent higher at 30.5 cents per share at 10:10am.

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