L&M takeover triggered

Compulsory acquisition of methane gas explorer L&M Energy has been triggered, takeover instigator LME chairman Geoff Loudon yesterday attaining 90% of shareholder acceptances, a condition of his almost $13 million offer.

Mr Loudon's company New Dawn Energy is paying a 43% premium to shareholders at A6c ($NZ7.6c) per share, and now compulsorily acquires the outstanding 10% of shares and will delist LME from the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges.

The initial 30-day offer was recently extended to January 31, but at the time the extension was made Mr Loudon held 89.3% of shares on issue. The takeover price values LME at $56.7 million. LME has undertaken extensive exploration of coal-bed methane gas in South Otago and Southland, without announcing any commercially viable deposits. It is now also considering an onshore drilling programme in Taranaki.

• New Dawn was incorporated with the Companies Office in September last year. Its directors are Mr Loudon and Greg Hogan. Mr Loudon holds 100% of the shares.

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