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More time please says Commerce Commission

By Ben Dutton

Tuesday 31st October 2000

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Fletcher Energy shareholders must hold their breath for a while longer following a request by the Commerce Commission for a time extension so it can consider Shell's second application to acquire Fletcher Energy.

Shell agreed to the request, and the Commission now has until November 17th to make its decision.

The Chairman of Shell New Zealand, Ed Johnson, said that in agreeing to the time extension, Shell remained confident that it had supplied the Commission with information that demonstrated how consumer interests would be preserved.

"Shell will explore all avenues and legal options to ensure that the necessary clearance is given to allow the FCE transaction to be completed," he said. Last week the media speculated that Shell may launch a legal challenge to overturn the Commerce Commission's ruling on the Fletcher Energy takeover.

Dr Roderick Deane, Chairman of Fletcher Challenge, again reiterated his company's stand on the issue, saying that "the Shell and Apache offer represents outstanding value for Fletcher Challenge Energy shareholders, and we remain hopeful that Shell's application will be cleared."

Shell will not be commenting any further on the transaction or clearance process until the new decision is released by the Commerce Commission on November 17th.

Fletcher Energy shares closed at $8.25, down 8 cents on the day.

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