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    PNG courts allows Oil Search shareholders to vote on Santos merger

Summary

The merger has been backed by an independent expert.

by: Shardul Sharma

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PNG courts allows Oil Search shareholders to vote on Santos merger

The National Court of Papua New Guinea has allowed Oil Search shareholders to vote on the merger with Santos, the two companies said on November 11 in a joint statement. 

The court has allowed Oil Search to convene a meeting of its shareholders on December 7 to consider and vote on the proposed merger. It has also approved the distribution to shareholders of an explanatory statement providing information about the scheme and a scheme booklet.

The scheme booklet includes a copy of the independent expert's report prepared by Grant Samuel & Associates. The independent expert has backed the merger and said that it is in the best interests of Oil Search shareholders in the absence of a superior proposal, the companies stated.

Santos and Oil Search finalised the merger deal in September this year. After the completion of the deal, Oil Search shareholders will own approximately 38.5% of the merged entity and Santos shareholders will own about 61.5%. Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher last month said that the merger is on track for completion by year-end.

The combined entity will be among the world’s top 20 oil and gas companies and have assets across Australia, Timor-Leste, PNG and North America.