John Ellice-Flint would return to Santos: Scepter

John Ellice-Flint.

John Ellice-Flint.

Scepter Partners, whose non-binding indicative proposal to acquire 100 per cent of shares in Santos was rejected yesterday, has provided further information on its plans.

In a statement to media, Scepter has advised that it “strongly supports” the former CEO of Santos, John Ellice-Flint, who led Santos from December 2000 to June 2008, and that if successful with its take-over plans, Mr Ellice-Flint would be re-appointed to the position of Executive Chairman of Santos. The position of Executive Chairman is currently held by Mr Peter Coates.

Speaking on this proposal, Mr Ellice-Flint said “Our vision is to build Santos into an Asian oil and gas leader, based in South Australia, harnessing the skills and experience of the Santos workforce”.

Mr Ellice-Flint has most recently been working as the Executive Director and Chairman of mid-cap Australian explorer and producer Blue Energy.

The announcement from Scepter, a low profile but high powered standing syndicate of industrialists and sovereign wealth funds, provides further strength to the argument that Scepter will approach Santos shareholders with a second offer, above the original offer of $A6.88 per share.

Scepter’s global merchant banking activities are led by investment banking veteran Anthony J. Steains, the former head of Blackstone Advisory Partners in Asia.

Scepter is also represented in the Santos transaction by Highbury Partnership and Gilbert & Tobin.

Santos has emphatically rejected yesterday’s offer made by Scepter, which it says significantly undervalued Santos’s underlying asset value.

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