Australian coal-seam gas producer Senex Energy Ltd has agreed to a buyout by South Korea’s POSCO International Corp in an $852.1 million deal, Reuters reports.
The Senex buyout is part of the South Korean firm’s strategy to accelerate its expansion into global natural gas exploration and production.
POSCO International, the trading arm of steel giant POSCO, received Senex’s approval for the buyout after hiking its offer for a third time to $4.60 a share last month.
POSCO International owns oil and gas stakes in Southeast Asia and is looking to diversify with Senex’s gas operations, which supply Australia’s tight east coast market and the Gladstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project.
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In addition to the acquisition, expected to be completed in late March 2022, Senex said it intended to pay a dividend of A$0.05 per share for the half year ending December 31.
The company also noted that Australia’s Hancock Energy would acquire a 49.9 per cent indirect stake in it after the deal closes, but said that was not a prerequisite to seal the deal.
Senex is an established, rapidly growing Australian natural gas producer. Its long-life assets in the Surat and Bowen Basins contribute around 20PJ of natural gas per year into the east coast gas market. The company is headquartered in Brisbane, Queensland.
POSCO International Corp is Korea’s largest trading company and a subsidiary of POSCO. The company was founded by Kim Woo-choong in 1967 as Daewoo Industrial Co., Ltd, which ran its business in trading and construction.