Westside reveals mystery bid

NINE months after fielding a tentative takeover bid that went nowhere, Queensland coal seam gas developer Westside Corporation has announced another sketchy offer from an anonymous bidder – but LNG Limited is out of the running.
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Staff Reporter

Westside said it had received an “indicative, conditional, non-binding and confidential proposal from a party which has conducted extensive due diligence on the company”

Despite this extensive due diligence, Westside said the bidder had requested more time “to finalise due diligence on additional information”

It said the offer was for 52c cash per share.

“Uncertainty remains as to whether any acceptable binding proposal will eventuate,” the company said.

The latest bid is not from LNG Ltd, which made a similar clandestine bid in February and was later outed in the media.

The Fisherman’s Landing hopeful told the market last night that although it had been undertaking due diligence on Westside’s assets, it had not lobbed in the indicative proposal.

It also said it had no intention of making a bid.

It was thought that Westside was a natural fit for LNG Limited, given that it was seeking to firm up gas for its Fisherman’s Landing LNG project in Gladstone.

However, it may have been given the room to be a bit more discerning by PetroChina’s move to acquire the Queensland CSG assets of North America-focused Molopo Energy.

Earlier this year, PetroChina agreed to supply the project gas from Molopo Energy’s permits in Queensland after the Chinese major agreed to acquire Molopo’s acreage for $41 million.

PetroChina’s parent company is also the parent of China Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corporation, which owns 19.9% of LNG Ltd.

PetroChina will also help find Chinese buyers for LNG from the project.

Contact was unable to be made with LNG Limited by deadline.

Meanwhile, Westside had begun talking to other companies interested in making an offer.

Last month Westside told frustrated investors, who had watched the company’s share price dwindle as the expected offer never eventuated, that it had told all potential bidders the deadline for a bid was the Westside annual general meeting, to be held tomorrow.

That ultimatum appears to have had the desired result.