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Shell Intends to Accept BG’s Offer for Pure Energy

Bloomberg

By Angela Macdonald-Smith

March 3 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it intends to accept BG Group Plc’s takeover offer for its stake in Pure Energy Resources Ltd., taking BG closer to winning control of the Australian coal-seam gas explorer.

Shell will accept BG’s cash bid for its 11.2 percent stake in Brisbane-based Pure “in the absence of a superior offer,” the company’s Australian unit said today in a statement.

BG, the U.K.’s third-biggest natural gas company, on Feb. 27 sweetened its offer for Pure to A$1.03 billion ($660 million as it seeks to thwart a rival offer fromArrow Energy Ltd., Shell’s partner in coal-seam gas in Australia. The raised price of A$8.25 a share in cash is conditional on BG getting at least 90 percent of the target.

BG had 29.5 percent of Pure as of yesterday and Shell’s stake would raise its interest to 40.7 percent, while Arrow has 20.2 percent.

Brisbane-based Arrow said Feb. 26 it was still considering “all options” on the takeover. Its latest cash and stock offer values Pure at about A$6.82 a share based on today’s closing price.

Pure Energy today gained 3 cents, or 0.4 percent, to A$8.17 in Sydney trading, while Arrow dropped 3.6 percent to A$2.43.

BG, Shell and Arrow are seeking more reserves to feed proposed liquefied natural gas projects in Queensland that may meet rising demand in North Asia for cleaner-burning fuels.

Pure Energy today reiterated the recommendation from its independent directors that shareholders accept BG’s offer in its formal response sent to the exchange. “Pure’s share price is likely to fall if BG’s offer is not successful,” Chairman Robert Day said in the document.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angela Macdonald-Smith in Sydney at[email protected]

Last Updated: March 3, 2009 01:17 EST

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