Thai’s PTT makes rival bid for Cove Energy

The Thai oil and gas company PTT Exploration and Production made a rival bid for Cove Energy, as demand increases for new energy reserves in East Africa.

PTT said on Friday that it had submitted a UK£1.1 billion (US$1.7 billion) offer for Cove Energy, an energy exploration company that has reserves across Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya. 

The announcement comes days after Royal Dutch Shell offered £992 million for Cove Energy.

Under terms of the deal, PTT, which is owned by Thailand’s state-backed oil company, would pay Cove Energy’s shareholders 220 pence apiece for their shares, a 12 percent premium to Shell’s offer. In late-afternoon trading in London, shares in Cove Energy rose 18.5 percent.

Cove Energy’s board, which had previously supported Shell’s bid, said it was reviewing both offers, and that no decision had been made on which proposed takeover it would back. Shell declined to comment on the rival bid.

Cove Energy, based in London, had put itself up for sale in January. It holds an 8.5 percent stake in a major natural gas field in Mozambique. 

The field, called Ruvuma Area 1, is estimated to hold up to 30 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. It is operated by Anadarko Petroleum.
Cove Energy

PTT said the Ruvuma project would be a “strong fit” for the energy company as it looks to increase it presence in the so-called liquified natural gas market. 

Demand for the energy resource, which can be shipped around the world, has increased sharply in recent years, particularly from fast-growing emerging markets. 

Shell also had said Cove Energy’s liquified natural gas assets had been part of its strategy to increase its presence in the region.
Source: The New York Times, www.nytimes.com, reported by Mark Scott in London

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