Santos-Oil Search deal gets final approval

The proposed merger between Australian LNG player Santos and PNG-focused Oil Search is almost complete, following the final court approval.

The National Court of Papua New Guinea on Thursday made orders approving the scheme of arrangement under which Santos would acquire all of the shares in Oil Search in return for the issue of new Santos shares to Oil Search shareholders, the duo said in a statement.

This follows approval by Oil Search shareholders earlier this week.

Oil Search expects to lodge a certified copy of the orders with the PNG Registrar of
Companies on Friday, December 10, at which time the scheme would become effective.

“If this occurs, Oil Search will apply for its shares to be suspended from trading on the PNGX and ASX with effect from close of trade on Friday,” it said.

Santos also said in a filing to the ASX it proposes to issue 1.3 billion new Santos shares.

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.

Oil Search has a stake in the ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG project but also the planned Papua LNG development.

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