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    Ophir Eyes Higher-Priced Takeover


The bidder has raised the price and talks are continuing, with a possible conclusion either way January 31.

by: William Powell

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Ophir Eyes Higher-Priced Takeover

UK independent Ophir has given Indonesian Medco a few more days to make a firm offer or publicly drop the idea, Ophir said January 28, the day the original deadline was to expire.

The deadline is now 17.00 GMT January 31 and the two sides are "in advanced negotiations with a view to agreeing a recommended transaction at £0.55 ($0.72)/share." This is a substantial increase on its January 14 bid, but still less than the original bid. That was made when the company had the licence to produce gas in Equatorial Guinea, which was key to the possibly transformational Fortuna LNG project.

Ophir said the deadline may be extended further with the consent of the UK Takeover Panel, at Ophir's request. And it added that although discussions between Ophir and Medco are ongoing, there can be no certainty that a firm offer will be made. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate, it said.