Royal Dutch Shell (LSE:RDSA)
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Thai state-controlled oil and gas firm PTTEP PCL (PTTEP.TH) Friday launched a rival offer for Mozambique-focused explorer Cove Energy PLC (COV.LN) that values the firm at $1.8 billion, trumping an earlier takeover bid by Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN).
Cove shares soared on the news, rising 20% by late afternoon. At 1630 GMT, Cove shares were 234 pence, valuing the company at $1.15 billion.
On Wednesday, Shell announced it would offer $1.6 billion for Cove, a move that would give the Anglo-Dutch major an 8.5% stake in valuable gas field offshore Mozambique where Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) has already found 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.
PTT weeks ago ruled out bidding for Cove, but its offer Friday represents a near 13% premium to Shell's.
Cove said in a statement negotiations were ongoing with both Shell and PTTEP, and that a higher offer for the firm could yet be forthcoming.
Shell declined to comment on the news, nor on whether it would prepared to raise its offer for Cove. Shell shares traded down 0.5% at 2354 pence.
-By Alexis Flynn, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 207842 9471, firstname.lastname@example.org