Thai PTT Exploration starts to delist takeover target Cove Energy

Thai oil and gas explorer PTT Exploration and Production Pcl (PINK:PEXNY), or PTTEP, said on Friday its GBP2.40 (USD3.77/EUR3.05) per share takeover offer for British peer Cove Energy Plc (LON:COV) had remained fully unconditional after meeting all conditions, including the receipt of final nod from the Mozambique government.

By 16 August, PTTEP secured some 94.32% of Cove shares, it said, adding that the offer would stay open for acceptance until further notice. The buyer plans to soon start a compulsory procedure for the remaining stock. As it already owns more than 75% in Cove, PTTEP has asked its British target to apply for the delisting of its shares, it explained.

The bid, valuing Cove at GBP1.22bn, was agreed on 23 May and was extended a few times.
It won the support of Cove’a board as it outmatched the GBP2.20 a share proposal from Royal Dutch Shell plc (LON:RDSA) made in April, resulting in the board withdrawing its support for Shell.

In a comment from May, Cove’s CEO John Craven said the bid represented substantial value for shareholders, while recognising the world-class nature of Cove’s assets in East Africa.

For the buyer, the acquisition allows it to leverage its LNG value chain, in line with the group’s long-term strategic priorities, CEO Tevin Vongvanich said.

PTTEP plans to use existing cash and newly secured debt to finance the takeover, it has said.