Santos-Oil Search merger deal gets another approval

The proposed merger between Australian LNG player Santos and PNG-focused Oil Search continues to progress following an approval from the PNG Securities Commission.

Santos said in a statement on Monday it had received the necessary approval letter and exception notice from the Commission in order to implement the proposed merger with Oil Search.

This is one of the conditions set in the merger implementation deed. It also follows an approval by Papua New Guinea’s National Court.

The deal remains subject to certain conditions including clearance from PNG’s Independent Consumer and Competition Commission.

Also, Oil Search shareholders will vote on December 7 on the merger deal.

“The Oil Search board continues to unanimously recommend that Oil Search shareholders vote in favor of the scheme at the scheme meeting in the absence of a superior proposal,” Oil Search said in a statement on Monday.

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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