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Last week Shell made a £942 million bid for Cove Energy, who hold significant rights to areas of Mozambique that boast some of the world’s largest natural gas reserves, but before the deal could be signed and the champagne corks could be popped Thailand’s PTTEP has made a £1.1 billion cash bid for the AIM-quoted explorer.
Shell’s offer had already been seen as a generous payday for Cove, with its bid offer of 195 pence per share representing a 30 per cent premium to the day-before trading price and a 73 per cent premium on the share price before Cove put itself up for sale in early January.
Indian, Korean and Chinese oil companies had all been touted as potential buyers of the AIM company, which has a much-coveted 8.5 per cent stake in a string of world-class gas discoveries offshore Mozambique. PTTEP’s move, however, took the market by surprise, with its offer of 220 pence per share representing a 95.6 per cent premium on the share price before Cove announced itself open for bids and a 12.8 per cent premium on Shell’s bid.