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Roc expects Horizon deal to aid expansion in Malaysia, Indonesia

JAMES PATON

SYDNEY (Bloomberg) -- Roc Oil Co., whose bid for Horizon Oil Ltd. faces investor opposition, said the A$800 million ($748 million) merger will help the Australian company add assets in Malaysia and Indonesia.

“It’s a challenge as a smaller company,” CEO Alan Linn said in an interview in Sydney. “As a bigger enterprise, it’s less of an issue. We will be able to actively pursue more opportunities in the region.”

The merged Australian oil and gas company would eventually consider having its shares trade on an Asian stock exchange, Roc Chairman Mike Harding said in the interview.

The agreement to combine operations stretching from China to New Zealand faces opposition from Roc’s largest shareholder, Allan Gray Australia Pty. The investor said it’s seeking a meeting to try to replace Roc directors, upset that only Horizon investors get to vote on the proposal. Allan Gray has called the deal “incredibly bad” for Roc shareholders.

The company at some point would “have to look at” having its shares trade in Asia, Harding said. While that’s an issue the board of the combined company would consider, the deal should help the company’s shares in Australia, Linn said.

“It will attract a new set of investors, and I think we’ll see a better trading multiple,” Linn said. “There will be considerable benefits on the Australian stock exchange.”

Roc closed unchanged at 49.50 cents as did Horizon at 37.50 cents.

05/09/2014

 

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