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Petroz valuation key to Novus takeover

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Thursday 19th October 2000

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The outcome of the Novus Petroleum bid for Australian oil explorer Petroz may hinge on an independent valuation of the company.

Petroz says it has contracted corporate adviser Grant Samuel to undertake the valuation, and the result will be released when it formally responds to the Novus takeover offer.

Petroz says it expects to know the details of the Novus offer on Monday when the company provides it with a bidder's statement. The new offer of one Novus share for 3.75 Petroz shares values Petroz at around A49 cents per share based on last Friday's closing prices, although Novus shares have been drifting lower in recent days.

Novus' previous proposal -- which was a merger deal offering one of its shares for every 4.5 Petroz shares -- was rejected by the Petroz board for undervaluing the shares.

Petroz shareholders also recently rejected a rights and placement proposal from Fletcher Energy that would have raised up to A$97 million to help develop the Bayu-Undan petroleum project in the Timor Sea and fund other exploration.

Fletcher now holds 13% of Petroz and has demanded answers as to how the company plans to address funding issues.

Petroz boss, Rod Brown, says once the company receives the Novus bidder's statement it has three weeks to formally respond with a target statement.

He says while the Novus proposal is evaluated, advisors are also speaking with other parties who have shown interest in the company in the past to gauge their interest in making a proposal, and a possible rights issue is being prepared.

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