U.S.-based Harbour Energy raised its bid for Australia’s Santos Ltd to $10.8 billion on Monday, hiking its offer for a fifth time in nine months after a steep rise in oil prices and potentially deterring any rival bids.
Shares in the oil and gas producer rose on the back of the sweetened bid but remain below the offer price amid uncertainty over whether the government will approve what would be the biggest takeover of an Australian resources company.
“You’ve got to think the new bump is going to make it more likely the board will approve it…But there are risks,” said Andy Forster, senior investment officer at Argo Investments, a top 10 shareholder in Santos.
Analysts have said the government might raise concerns that a takeover could dent gas supply on Australia’s east coast and could even raise questions about foreign companies not paying enough tax in Australia. Read More