PTT extends Cove bid deadline in race against oil major Shell

PTT Exploration and Production yesterday extended for a second time the deadline for investors to accept its $1.9bn (£1.2bn) offer for gas explorer Cove Energy, as it waits for rival suitor Shell to make its next move.

The Thai company has been fighting with oil major Shell to buy Cove since February.

Cove has huge gas field interests off the coast of Mozambique – an area poised to be a major energy supplier to Asia. PTT said that investors would now have until 13 July to accept its offer, after it won acceptances from only 0.25 per cent of Cove shares by last Friday’s deadline. Shares in Cove have for the last three weeks consistently traded around 10 per cent above PTT’s offer as the market bets that Shell will return with a higher offer and the level of acceptances for PTT’s 240 pence per share offer has not risen since a first deadline on 25 June.

Under UK takeover rules, Shell has until 17 July to launch a higher offer, with 11 July the next deadline for Cove shareholders to accept its $1.8bn bid.

PTT also said yesterday that its proposed takeover of Cove won approval from the Competition Authority of Kenya, where Cove also has interests.