Mitsui moves closer to full takeover of AWE Limited

Shares in oil and gas explorer AWE Limited (ASX: AWE) are presently sitting at the 95c offer price as the company today declared the cash takeover offer by Mitsui & Co Ltd unconditional.

Japanese conglomerate Mitsui now holds 52.35% of AWE and its extension of the offer acceptance period to 18 April should see the company mop up the remaining AWE shares, or at least achieve the 90% threshold to proceed with compulsory acquisition of the rest.

It remains to be seen whether Mitsui can get to 90%, but where’s the sense in staying on an illiquid register as a minority shareholder, with the very real prospect that the company will be delisted or the listing transferred to another jurisdiction?

Mining services company Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) made a takeover play for AWE earlier this year with a bid of cash and script with an implied value of 83c per share falling short of the Mitsui bid.

China Energy Reserve and Chemical Group kicked off the initial bidding war late last year, with a takeover offer of 73c per share, with interest in AWE believed to have started after substantial increase in reserves out of AWE’s Western Australian Waitsia gas field.

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Motley Fool contributor Carin Pickworth has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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