New Santos bid draws ACCC, AGL attention

AUSTRALIA’S competition watchdog will examine Santos’ new $710 million bid for Queensland Gas Company. Meanwhile, AGL Energy has hit back at claims the offer is superior to its own.
New Santos bid draws ACCC, AGL attention New Santos bid draws ACCC, AGL attention New Santos bid draws ACCC, AGL attention New Santos bid draws ACCC, AGL attention New Santos bid draws ACCC, AGL attention

AGL said any direct comparison by Santos of the two bids was “without merit and flawed in critical areas of fact and valuation”.

“The AGL proposal delivers QGC shareholders substantial advantages including a strong independent QGC and financially viable listed entity,” AGL managing director Paul Anthony said.

“On any reasonable review this is a fundamentally robust opportunity for QGC shareholders.”

Anthony said AGL remained committed to working with QGC to bring its own proposal, which involves taking a 30% stake and a gas sale agreement, to a successful close.

Meanwhile, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel said the new Santos bid meant the watchdog could not make a formal decision on the company’s previous offer as expected yesterday.

“The market submissions received following the release of the statement of issues raised a number of serious competition concerns,” he said.

“The ACCC will now consider the new proposal as announced by Santos.”

Announced Tuesday afternoon, the new $710 million proposal involves Santos acquiring QGC’s Undulla Nose coal seam gas assets, with the remaining assets to be spun-off into a new vehicle dubbed “New QGC”, in which Santos would have a 30% stake.

Santos said that unlike AGL Energy’s proposal its revised offer gave QGC shareholders an opportunity to exchange all of their shares at an attractive price.

While QGC admitted there were elements of the proposal that appeared attractive, it agreed with AGL that it was inappropriate for Santos to compare the two bids at this time.

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