Shell names new deadline for Cove Energy bid

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSA) announced on Thursday a new extension until 25 July for its £2.20 ($3.41/€2.80) a share takeover offer for Cove Energy Plc (LON:COV), after securing 3.27% in the British oil and gas explorer by the previous deadline on 11 July.

Of the total acceptances, irrevocable commitments cover only 0.95% of the target’s capital, the buyer said.

The offer, valuing Cove at around £1.12bn in total, was agreed in April and outmatched by Thai oil and gas explorer PTT Exploration and Production Pcl (PINK:PEXNY), or PTTEP, which proposed in late May to buy Cove at £2.40 per share.

At the time, Shell said that in the light of the higher rival offer it was looking into options regarding its own bid. Its offer, launched on 2 May, was first extended to 13 June and further until 28 June and 11 July.

Shell wants to buy Cove to strengthen and diversify its global liquefied natural gas (LNG) portfolio of production and development projects, it has said. Cove’s board agreed to back the deal in April, but later withdrew its support and accepted the £1.22bn transaction with PTTEP, whose offer is also running with a new deadline set for 13 July. PTTEP said its bid won 0.25% acceptance by 6 July.

Both bids are subject to winning an acceptance level of at least 90%.

In an earlier comment, Cove’s CEO John Craven said that the offer from the Thai group represented substantial value for shareholders, while recognising the world-class nature of Cove’s assets in East Africa.