Santos rejects Scepter Partners’ $5.1bn takeover proposal

Australia-based oil and gas producer Santos has rejected an A$7.1bn ($5.1bn) acquisition proposal made by investment firm Scepter Partners saying that it is opportunistic in nature.

The company received an indicative, highly conditional and non-binding proposal from Scepter Partners on 20 October to acquire it for a cash consideration of A$6.88 per share.

According to Santos, the proposal does not reflect the fair value of the company and was also subject to various conditions.

Some of the conditions are said to be adverse to Santos' continued evaluation of other alternatives in its existing strategic review process.

In August, Santos said it would conduct a review of all options in a bid to restore and increase shareholder value.

The ongoing review will continue to consider all proposals which deliver appropriate value as well as certainty for shareholders, the company said.

Santos said in a statement: "Santos has been advised by Scepter that it is a direct investment business whose stakeholders include a standing syndicate of ruling families, ultra-high-net-worth industrialists and sovereign wealth funds."

Last week, the company commenced the first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its $18.5bn GLNG project in Queensland.

Santos holds a 30% interest in the project in partnership with Petronas (27.5%), Total (27.5%) and South Korea's Kogas (15%).

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