Mitsui declares AWE takeover offer unconditional

AWE's Waitsia site

Mitsui & Co, one of Japan’s ‘big five’ sogo shosha (trading houses), has released a statement declaring its takeover offer of Australian oil and gas company AWE is now unconditional, having claimed over 50 per cent of the company.

Mitsui first announced its plans at the end of January, where it made an offer of 95 cents per share for the company, representing $602 million in total for 100 per cent of AWE — previously Mitsui had offered 83 cents per share in December 2017.

Mitsui’s stake in AWE now stands at 51.89 per cent and AWE shareholders who accepted the offer will now receive their consideration within seven business days of acceptance being received.

Due to holding over 50 per cent of AWE shares, Mitsui’s offer has been extended by a fortnight and is now scheduled to close on April 18. The company states in its ASX report that it strongly encourages all AWE shareholders to accept the offer “without delay”.

Among AWE’s largest current projects are the Waitsia onshore gas project in Western Australia, Casino offshore gas project in Victoria and Ande Ande Lumut offshore oil project in Indonesia.

AWE also released a statement at the end of February unanimously recommending shareholders in the company accept Mitsui’s offer of 95 cents per share; previously CERCG Aus Gas tried to pursue AWE for 73 cents per share, so the AWE Board stated that Mitsui’s more generous offer should be accepted “in absence of a superior proposal”.