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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Australian gas firm Santos rejects Dh26bn US bid

Board knocks back Harbour Energy offer made in August for firm with interests in Papua New Guinea

Harbour Energy's improved offer for Gas producer Santos may still be knocked back. Jason Reed/Reuters
Harbour Energy's improved offer for Gas producer Santos may still be knocked back. Jason Reed/Reuters

The Australian energy major Santos said Thursday it had knocked back a bid by a US-based investment firm worth almost A$9.5 billion (Dh26.44bn), sending its share price soaring.

Santos, an Australian natural gas company with interests in Papua New Guinea, said it received a proposal from Harbour Energy at A$4.55 per share on August 14.

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"The board rejected the approach on the basis that the indicative price was inadequate and the sources of funds were uncertain," Santos said in a statement to the stock market.

"Santos confirms that it is not currently engaged in discussions with, and has not received a current proposal from, Harbour Energy regarding a change of control transaction for Santos."

Harbour Energy's chief executive is Linda Cook, a veteran former senior executive of energy juggernaut Royal Dutch Shell.

Shares in Santos closed 13.01 per cent higher to A$4.95 in trading in Sydney Thursday.