NZ Oil and Gas rebuffs Zeta

Zeta Resources’ takeover bid for New Zealand Oil & Gas has failed to meet its minimum acceptance level, clearing the way for acceptances of the counter takeover offer from OG Oil & Gas (Singapore).

In recent weeks, OG Oil & Gas made a 77c-per-share offer, later upped to 78c,  to acquire 67.55% of New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG) it does not already control, which followed the earlier 72c bid by rival Zeta Resources to gain a 50% stake. Zeta already had a 29.5% stake in NZOG.

Shares in NZOG were down from 77c earlier in the week to 72.5c yesterday.

It had been reported Zeta planned to make a $50 million capital return to shareholders, whereas OGOG was pitching itself as backing the management’s current plan to seek further exploration opportunities, including more work on deepwater oil and gas permits off  from Oamaru and Invercargill.

NZOG independent directors recommended shareholders reject the Zeta offer, saying an  independent valuation priced  the company within a range of 78c to 93c a share. H&G managing director David Cushing told BusinessDesk  H&G  held about 9.2% of NZOG and now  the Zeta offer had lapsed "we are going to accept the OGOG offer. We think 78c is a fair price".

The southern oil and gas prospects are Clipper and Barque off the coast of Oamaru, and to a lesser extent, the Toroa prospect south of Invercargill.

NZOG  has a 50% stake in Clipper and a 30% stake in Toroa, alongside operator Woodside Energy (NZ)’s 70% stake.

While OG Oil & Gas was not the major joint-venture partner being sought by NZOG  during the past almost two years, it did want to put more capital into exploration. In April, NZOG upgraded its resource estimates at Barque, saying it could potentially hold 11 trillion cubic feet of gas and 1.5 billion barrels of oil or gas condensate liquid, saying it "could transform the national economy".

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