OG Oil & Gas crosses 50% threshold in bid to win control of NZOG

The closing date has been extended twice.

OG Oil & Gas has crossed the 50% threshold needed to win control of NZX-listed New Zealand Oil & Gas in a partial takeover of the local energy explorer and producer, meaning it now just needs regulatory approval to declare the deal done.

The oil and gas division of Ofer Global today declared it holds 62.7% of NZOG's shares, up from 47.8% in its previous disclosure, including 17% from rival suitor Zeta Resources, according to a statement to the stock exchange. OGOG offered 78c a share to buy up to 70% of NZOG, provided it achieved a controlling 50% stake. The deal is still conditional on securing regulatory approvals, of which it has New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals consent, but still needs Overseas Investment Office sign-off.

"We are delighted to have secured the shareholder support we need for our offer to be successful," OGOG chief executive Alastair McGregor said in a statement. "This is an important milestone for New Zealand Oil & Gas, for OGOG and for the broader Ofer Global Group. We are looking forward to getting to work."

Earlier this month the Ofer Global unit extended the closing date of its offer to January 8 "to allow time to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals," at a time when the new Labour-led administration has signalled tighter criteria for foreign buyers of some New Zealand assets, with plans to effectively ban the purchase of existing residential housing and expanding the pool of rural land needing OIO approval.

OGOG emerged as a rival bid to Zeta Resources, saying it wanted to preserve NZOG's exploration opportunities, especially the Barque prospect off the Canterbury coast.

Acceptances will be scaled if they go above OGOG's 70% upper cap.

Separately, NZOG said it has received OIO and NZPM approval to buy Mitsui E&P Australia's 4% stake in the Kupe oil and gas field. The Wellington-based company paid $35 million to buy back into the field, having sold a 15% interest for $168 million to Genesis Energy.

NZOG shares last traded at 70.5c and have gained 11% so far this year.


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