Indonesia’s Medco Energi could offer $436m for Britain’s Ophir

Photo: Medco Energi website

Indonesia’s Medco Energi International Tbk PT said on Friday a possible all-cash takeover offer by its unit for Ophir Energy would value the British firm at 340 million pounds ($435.88 million).

Medco said shareholders of Ophir, an upstream oil and gas exploration and production company focused on Asia and Africa, would receive 48.5 pence in cash for each Ophir share.

Under British takeover rules, Medco’s fully-owned subsidiary PT Medco Energi Global has until Jan. 28 to make a firm offer or walk away.

Analysts have said a deal with Ophir would boost Medco’s valuations and help it gain access to international assets.

The price represents a 46.1 percent premium to Ophir’s share close of 33.2 pence on Dec. 28, the last business day before Medco Global announced the possible offer for Ophir.

Ophir did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ophir, whose shares fell 47 percent in 2018, has said it expects to report a non-cash write down of $300 million on a liquefied natural gas project in Africa and that it would shift its headquarters from London to Asia, where it bought assets in 2018.

Founded by oil and gas tycoon Arifin Panigoro, Medco has made sizeable acquisitions in recent years, including leading a $2.6 billion purchase of the Indonesian unit of Newmont Mining Corp in November 2016. It also operates power plants in Indonesia.

Medco, headquartered in Jakarta, earns the bulk of its revenue from oil and gas operations, mainly in Indonesia. The firm has focussed on expanding its Southeast Asia presence and adding to its existing assets in the Middle East and North Africa.

Standard Chartered Bank is acting as financial adviser to Medco.

Shares in Ophir, which has a market value of 305 million pounds, were 3.4 percent higher at 44.5 pence at 1138 GMT.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.