Sunov to close out Medco�s bid for Novus

Leading bidder in the takeover battle for Novus Petroleum, Sunov Petroleum, is seeking to shut out its Indonesian rival by having the Australian Takeovers Panel force Medco to declare its hand.

Medco has extended the offer eight times with the most recent extension – only days ago - being sought even though its $1.74 bid is under Sunov’s $1.85 bid, and has been rejected by the Novus board.

Sunov alleges that they have seen a number of press reports attributing statements to Medco or its executives, in and outside Australia, which have indicated it would be deciding whether to increase its bid price by a nominated date.

Sunov said that Medco has let that date pass without making any announcement regarding a price increase and has submitted these statements were “last and final statements” as defined in ASIC Policy Statement 25 (Truth in Takeovers).

It said to date Medco has not done what it publicly said it would do in those statements, namely announce a decision in relation to its bid price by the specified date.

A statement from the Takeovers Panel said: “Sunov has requested that the Panel make final orders that Medco prominently and clearly announce its intentions, by way of issuing a supplementary bidder’s statement or making an announcement to ASX, either that it will increase its bid to a specified price or that its current price of $1.74 will not be increased.

George Durbridge, Takeovers Panel director, said the Panel had not decided whether to conduct proceedings in relation to the application and made no comment on the merits of the application.

He also said the Panel has not received submissions from Medco and is, therefore, unaware of their views. The President of the Panel is appointing a sitting Panel to consider the application.

Sunov is led by Novus MD, Bob Williams, in concert with Hong Kong-based Crosby Capital Partners.

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