Thai oil firm PTT Exploration and Production extended for a second time the deadline for investors to accept its $1.9 billion offer for gas explorer Cove Energy, as it waits for rival suitor Shell to make its next move.
The two companies have been battling to buy Cove since February, attracted by the company’s position in huge gas fields discovered off the coast of Mozambique which look set to transform the East African country into a major supplier of energy to Asia.
PTT said on Monday that investors would now have until July 13 to accept its offer, after it won acceptances from only 0.25 percent of Cove shares by last Friday’s deadline.
Shares in Cove have for the last three weeks consistently traded around 10 percent 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 June 25.
Under British takeover rules, Shell has until July 17 to launch a higher offer, with July 11 the next deadline for Cove shareholders to accept its $1.8 billion bid.
PTT also said on Monday that its proposed takeover of Cove won approval from the Competition Authority of Kenya, where Cove also has interests.
Cove shares closed at 272 pence on Friday, valuing the company at 1.3 billion pounds.