Woodside proposes $8.1B merger with Oil Search

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has provided Oil Search Ltd. a confidential and non-binding proposal for an $8.1 billion merger through a scheme of arrangement under the Papua New Guinea Companies Act.

One of Oil Search's largest projects is the ExxonMobil-operated PNG LNG development, which sourced gas from seven fields in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Oil Search also has interests in Iraq and Tunisia.

Under the proposal, Oil Search shareholders would receive all scrip consideration of 0.25 Woodside shares for every Oil Search share and become shareholders in the combined entity. The proposal is subject to PNG regulatory approval, completing satisfactory due diligence, and other customary conditions.

The $8.1 billion (AUD 11.65 billion) merger, if successful, would be the largest Australian takeover transaction since 2011, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Bloomberg reports that Oil Search has appointed Morgan Stanley and Allens as advisors, and that Woodside is being advised by Bank of America Corp., Gresham Advisory Partners Ltd., and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

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