THE SALE of Cove Energy enters its eighth month today, with pursuer Shell extending its offer for a fourth time.
So far Shell has persuaded just 3.27 per cent of investors to accept its £1.12m bid.
Mozambique-focused Cove, which opened its data room to potential bidders on 13 December, is also fielding advances from Thai company PTT, which has secured acceptances from 0.25 per cent of shareholders for its £1.22bn takeover package.
Shell yesterday pushed back its acceptance deadline to 25 July in the hope that more investors will back its bid.
Analysts at Investec have suggested that, with the sale process dragging on, the Takeover Panel could call a sealed auction for Cove next week.
Under the rules for competitive takeovers, final offers must be announced a maximum of 46 days after competing bid documents are filed – giving a deadline of 17 July for Cove’s suitors, before the panel steps in.
PTT’s current offer is set to expire today, unless the state-controlled firm extends its bid.
Shares in Cove ended the day up 0.9 per cent at 275.01p – above the 220p per share on offer from Shell and the 240p bid tabled by PTT.