PNG court to review Santos-Oil Search merger deal

Papua New Guinea’s National Court has deferred the date for the first hearing regarding the proposed merger between Australian LNG player Santos and PNG-focused Oil Search.

The hearing, previously set for Wednesday, would now take place on Thursday at the request of the court, Oil Search said in an update.

“The Oil Search board will update shareholders and the market when orders regarding the meeting of Oil Search shareholders have been made and the implementation timetable has been approved by the court,” it said.

Oil Search added that shareholders do not need to take any action in relation to the merger at this stage.

Prior to this, Oil Search said in an update on October 29 that the first hearing date would slip from October 27 to November 10.

In September, Oil Search and Santos have entered into a definitive merger deal that would create an LNG player worth about A$21 billion ($15.5 billion).

Following the completion of the scheme, Oil Search shareholders would own about 38.5 percent of the merged group and Santos shareholders would own 61.5 percent.

This deal values Oil Search at about A$8 billion ($6 billion). The firm has a stake in the ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG project but also the planned Papua LNG development.

The two firms expect to complete the transaction by year-end, subject to customary conditions including Oil Search shareholder approval.

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