Eastern Star approves $924 million Santos takeover

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Eastern Star Gas shareholders approved a $924 million takeover bid from coal seam gas rival Santos on Friday.

At a shareholder meeting in Sydney 81 per cent of Eastern Star investors backed the bid, despite some expressing concerns the offer was too low.

Eastern Star chairman John Anderson told shareholders progress for the company’s CSG projects had been slow.

He said the company had encountered significant political and community opposition and the Santos takeover was therefore the best option.

Eastern Star’s CSG operations, particularly those in the Pilliga region, have attracted considerable hostility from community and environmental groups.  

According to ABC News Anderson said the larger size and finance of Santos would make it easier to make headway on the company’s controversial projects.

“Santos of course has a much bigger balance sheet, that’s the point,” he said.

“They are up and active. They have a cash-flow.”

“They have a record of working well in the sector and they will be the ideal people to take forward the very interesting and important work that we’ve developed.”

Community opposition to CSG developments remains a strong and significant barrier to expansion in the sector.

The ABC reports that the Santos takeover comes just days after Liverpool Plains farmers made a blockade on a property where Santos was drilling CSG exploration.

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