U.S-based Harbour Energy has sweetened its offer for Australia's Santos, which has a strong portfolio in liquefied natural gas. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
May 21 (UPI) -- Australian energy company Santos said Monday it would consider a takeover proposal for U.S.-based Harbour Energy, sweetened by 4.6 percent over the week.
The Australian subsidiary of Harbour last week offered $4.98 (USD) per share for an all-stock takeover of Santos. The Australian company said Monday it was now considering an offer of $5.21 per share.
"This follows earlier binding, conditional offers from Harbour of $4.98 per share announced on May 17 2018 and $5.12 per share received on May 19," the Santos statement read. "There is no certainty that the revised Harbour proposal will result in an offer for Santos that is capable of being considered by shareholders."
Santos shares were up 1.76 percent in Monday trading on the Australian exchange.
Harbour announced its plans to move in on Santos last month. The U.S.-based company said it wanted to take advantage of the holdings of Santos to become a leader in the liquefied natural gas sector. At the time, Harbour CEO Linda Cook said the Australian company's regional footprint made it an attractive asset.
"All of these components are valuable assets and important to the execution of our vision and strategy," she said.
The third-largest oil and gas producer in Australia, Santos leads a multi-billion effort to convert coal seam natural gas to LNG for exports to the global market.
Asian economies like Japan and China are taking on more LNG. The super-cooled gas offers more maneuverability when compared to piped gas because it can avoid some of the geopolitical and transnational issues associated with building infrastructure across national borders.
Without new operations, Royal Dutch Shell said the global market for LNG supply could slip into a deficit by the middle of the next decade.
Two years ago, Santos reported losses for the first half of the year were $1.1 billion, against income of $30 million during the same period the previous year.
Santos said Monday it was advising its shareholders not to take any action on the latest Harbour proposal.