Coro Energy plc - Announcement by Ophir Energy plc

Source Press Release
Company Coro Energy PlcMedco Energi International tbk PTOphir Energy plc 
Tags Strategy - Corporate, Upstream Activities
Date March 21, 2019

Coro Energy plc, the South East Asian focused exploration and production company, notes the announcement made yesterday by Ophir Energy plc ("Ophir") (the "Announcement"), in which Coro was identified as a potential bidder for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Ophir and in which Coro confirmed that it does not intend to make an offer for Ophir. The Announcement was made with the consent and prior approval of Coro.

As noted in the Announcement, Coro did enter into discussions with Ophir regarding a possible offer, based on a proposal that Ophir shareholders receive 40 pence in cash per share, as well as new shares in Coro resulting in an ownership by Ophir shareholders of between 85 per cent and 95 per cent of the enlarged company. Coro would have utilised a bridge finance facility to fund the cash element, and was in advanced discussions with a global investment bank in relation to this facility.

Coro saw in Ophir a clear strategic fit with Coro's ambitions in South East Asia, a complementary portfolio within which Coro's South East Asian assets would add value, growth and portfolio balance, and an asset base that Coro's management has a long history with and detailed knowledge of. In addition, Coro's experience in building and managing mid-cap oil & gas companies, knowledge, relationships and regional E&P expertise would be of benefit to the enlarged group and the maximisation of the value of its assets.

In light of the confirmation of certain irrevocables being given to the offer put forward by Medco Energi Global PTE Ltd ("Medco"), Coro believes that the probability of being able to effect a competing transaction by means of a scheme of arrangement, which would require, inter alia, at least 75 per cent. of votes cast in an Ophir general meeting to proceed, has greatly diminished. As a result, and as more particularly described in the Announcement, Coro has confirmed that it does not intend to make an offer and will, except with the consent of the Panel, be bound by the restrictions contained in Rule 2.8 of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers, subject to the reservations set out in the Announcement.

Whilst Coro is disappointed that it has not been able to proceed with its offer for Ophir, the Company believes that the pursuit of such transactions demonstrates its ambitions to grow its business rapidly and in line with a strategy to create a mid-tier gas player in South East Asia delivering material value for shareholders.

James Menzies, Chief Executive Officer, commented:"

While this initiative did not ultimately deliver the result we wanted, we were able to rapidly evaluate the opportunity and put together a proposal that we believe made sense for shareholders of both companies. This process has been an important milestone for Coro in assembling the firepower, in terms of both human and financial resource, needed for a small company to take on a significant transaction of scale and we will continue to look for opportunities that makes sense for our investors and where we see genuine value creation potential.

In the meantime, we are focussed on delivering value from our existing assets in Indonesia and Malaysia. These are exciting times for Coro, and we look forward to updating shareholders on further progress as we execute our strategy, both by taking our developments forward, and identifying other acquisition opportunities."

Source: EvaluateEnergy® ©2020 EvaluateEnergy Ltd