Zeta, Saville team up for partial takeover of NZ Oil & Gas

The offer is 72c a share.

Zeta Resources, the ASX-listed investment group advised by Duncan Saville's ICM unit, is making a partial takeover offer for New Zealand Oil & Gas, offering a 15 percent premium for shares in the oil and gas explorer.

Zeta Energy, a subsidiary of Zeta Resources, plans to offer 72 cents a share for 41.955 percent of NZOG's fully and partly paid shares that it doesn't already own. The target company shares last traded at 62.5 cents.

The offer is conditional on reaching acceptances of at least 50 percent and may be subject to scaling, it said. Zeta Energy commissioned Simmons Corporate Finance for an appraisal of the offer. It said the proposal was "fair and reasonable" between the two classes of voting securities.

Zeta Energy and ICM combined hold 29.5 percent of NZOG, they said in a filing to the NZX this morning, up from 21.2 percent, reflecting a lock-up agreement between Zeta, H & G, Bermuda Commercial Bank, Pan Pacific Petroleum and UIL, they said.

The proposal signals further consolidation among smaller operators in the local oil and gas exploration sector. In January, NZOG took control of Cue Energy Resources and in June Zeta launched an A$22 million takeover of Pan Pacific via a scheme of arrangement. In April, Pan Pacific's independent directors rejected an earlier takeover offer from Zeta as too low. In July, Zeta declared its offer for another explorer, Bligh Resources, unconditional.

Saville links the various groups involved in the consolidation as he is also a director of NZOG and Zeta sold its 12 percent holding in Cue into the NZOG offer.