While Beach confirmed to the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday that it had expressed an interest in Delhi and the associated listed Floating Interest Energy Linked Securities (FIELDS) loan notes issued by the Australian Onshore Energy Fund (AOEF), it denied making an offer.
“The expression of interest does not mean an offer will be made,” managing director Reg Nelson said.
Last month, Santos offered to acquire all the equity in Delhi – a Cooper Basin joint venture partner – for $474 million.
But late last week, Westpac, the responsible entity for AOEF, announced it had received an unsolicited offer that was superior to the Santos offer, from an unnamed third party.
Westpac Funds Management yesterday reiterated that it was in the process of evaluating the approach, which it described as an incomplete offer.
If Santos emerges as the successful bidder, the deal will increase its interest in the Cooper Basin joint venture from about 63% to 85% and add about 67 million barrels of proven plus probable oil reserves.