JWS acts in acquisition and funding of Victorian Gas Assets

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Johnson Winter & Slattery acted for Cooper Energy Limited in its acquisition of Victorian Gas Assets of Santos Limited.
Cooper Energy has entered into a series of agreements to acquire Victorian Gas Assets and has undertaken an underwritten accelerated pro rata entitlement offer to raise $62 million.
Ashurst advised Santos and the underwriters, Euroz and Canacord Genuity. Baker & McKenzie provided US and foreign law advice. Grant Samuel was financial adviser to Cooper Energy. JWS partners James Marshall (Energy & Resources) and John Keeves (Corporate/ECM) led the deal with assistance from the Corporate and Energy & Resources teams.
The agreements enabled the financing and acquisition of a portfolio of producing assets, exploration acreage and plant including:
  • a 50% interest and, subject to approval of the JV partners, operatorship of the Casino-Henry gas project in the Otway Basin
  • a 10% interest in the Minerva gas field and Minerva Gas Plant in the Otway Basin
  • the remaining 50% interest in the Sole gas field and Orbost Gas Plant in the Gippsland Basin
  • exploration acreage in the Otway Basin
  • a 100% interest in the largely depleted and non-operating Patricia Baleen gas field and associated infrastructure in the Gippsland Basin.
The acquisition of the Victorian Gas Assets is being funded through a combination of proceeds of approximately $62.6 million raised from the entitlement offer, with the balance from available cash reserves and, if necessary, debt facilities.
The acquisition is the latest and most significant step in Cooper Energy’s strategy it has pursued over the past 4 years to build a portfolio-style multi-basin gas business to address opportunities it foresaw emerging in the gas market of south-east Australia.
Acquisition of the producing Otway Basin assets will see Cooper Energy’s production increase substantially and shift to predominantly gas; and moving to 100% ownership of the Sole gas field is expected to simplify the pathway to that project’s commercialisation.
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