MARKETS

STAM offer for FAR passes cutoff date 

THE cutoff date for Samuel Terry Asset Management's opportunistic takeover bid for FAR Limited, priced at 45c per share, has passed. Shareholders declined the offer. 

STAM offer for FAR passes cutoff date 

The company's three directors recommended against the offer, which they said low-balled the company. STAM already held 4.9%, buying in after the share price halved at the end of December on the back of an unsuccessful well offshore The Gambia. 
 
Then, shares were 37.5c each, but rose steadily after the STAM bid and sit at around 67c today. 
 
The exploration company will also leave Guinea-Bissau where it holds the offshore Esperanca Blocks 4A & 5A and Sinapa Block 2. It has told the government and Norwegian partner Petronor today. The partners failed to farm down the project, FAR said. 
 
It has impaired US$2.7 million in relation to costs last year. 
 
Another shareholder Raper Capital (1.5%) has been chasing the company, trying to get retail shareholders on board (via Hot Copper message boards, among other ways) to vote against board remuneration at the mid-year annual general meeting. 
 
An overwhelming 75% voted no last year after FAR's bargain basement sale of its 13.65% near production stake of the Sangomar oil project offshore Senegal. 
 
It sold to operator Woodside Petroleum last year at a steep discount to what Woodside paid for Cairn Energy's stake. FAR missed cash calls early in the year as its funding fell over early in 2020 during the early days of the oil price crash. 
 
It put together a complex funding deal at the end of 2019, efforts had been hindered as an arbitration case FAR brought against Woodside had to be resolved first. 
 
A second no vote needs 25% to get across the line which could trigger second strike rules, and push a board spill. Raper wants to see the company's cash returned to shareholders, including the US$55 million contingent payment that starts up with oil production and is linked to the oil price. 
 
Last month Raper put out an 11-page letter detailing management's many failings. The same day FAR released plans for further exploration offshore Gambia, suggesting its 2021 duster Bambo-1 had in fact proved an existing petroleum system. 
 
FAR shares are worth 67c each. 
 
 

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