Business World

Sunday 8 December 2019

Shell considers upping Cove bid

Peter Flanagan

ROYAL Dutch Shell said yesterday it was considering its options regarding Cove Energy, the explorer run by Dubliner John Craven. Cove extended the deadline for shareholder acceptances after getting a higher bid from a Thai firm on Wednesday.

The takeover battle for Cove, which has a stake in huge gas finds off the coast of Mozambique, heated up on Wednesday after Shell's $ (€800m) offer was trumped by a $1.9bn bid from Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production.

Shell said in a statement that shareholders would have an extra three weeks to accept its 220p per share offer. Noting the competing bid from the Thai firm, the company added: "Shell is considering its options and will make a further announcement if appropriate."

Shares in Cove closed at 253p yesterday, higher than the Thai firm's 240p offer, signalling that investors expect Shell to come back with a higher bid.

East Africa is set to become one of the world's largest gas exporters, executives operating in the region believe, after a string of major discoveries across Mozambique and Tanzania. Shell has acceptances from shareholders owning 4.83pc of Cove's shares.

Irish Independent

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