No ending in sight for WestSide takeover story

TAKEOVER target WestSide Corporation’s suitor LNG Ltd is still interested but appears no closer to committing to a deal that was first mooted in February.

Andy Graham

Bowen Basin coal seam gas producer WestSide said Fisherman’s Landing LNG project developer LNG Ltd was conducting due diligence but “no set timeframe had been established for completion of this process and there is no guarantee that a binding takeover offer will subsequently be made”

WestSide shares soared nearly 50% to 44c in February when it announced LNG Ltd’s indicative 65c per share proposal.

Since then Petrochina, which is helping LNG Ltd source gas for Fisherman’s Landing, closed a $41 million deal for Molopo Energy’s CSG assets in the Bowen Basin.

WestSide announced yesterday its Meridian seam gas venture with Mitsui E&P generated $5.94 million revenue in 2011-12.

“The Meridian operations broke even before depreciation – an improvement of $1 million over the 2011 result,” the company said.

WestSide posted a $7.8 million after-tax loss for FY2012 – a result helped by a $3.7 million profit from the sale of its share of an Indonesian joint venture.

WestSide chief executive officer Dr Julie Beeby said the company would continue to focus on increasing production and reserves to underpin the execution of new gas sales agreements while concentrating on improving efficiency and reducing costs.

“Meridian’s gas production can be expected to generate increasingly significant cash flow for WestSide as production rises toward our initial 25 terajoule per day target and revenues benefit from anticipated price increases beyond 2014,” she said in the company’s annual report.

Westside said it spent $10.7 million on development work in 2011-12 and $3.7 million on exploration, mainly on two wells at its Galilee Basin tenements.

Westside shares were down 1.5c to 33.5c this morning.

This article first appeared in ILN's sister publication