The Boards of BG Group plc and Queensland Gas Company Limited
(QGC) on Tuesday announced that they have agreed the terms of a recommended
transaction under which BG Group will offer to acquire all the issued shares in QGC at AUD$5.75
per share by means of an unconditional on-market takeover bid on the Australian Securities
Exchange (ASX). The all-cash offer values the entire issued share capital of QGC at approximately
AUD$5.6 billion (GBP2.2 billion). BG Group's consideration to increase its ownership of QGC to
100% will total some AUD$5.2 billion (GBP2.0 billion).
- The offer price represents an 80% premium to QGC's closing price of AUD$3.20 on
23 October 2008, the last full day of trading in QGC shares prior to the two companies'
announcement published today on ASX at 1030 AEDT 28 October 2008 (2330 GMT
27 October 2008). The offer price is final and will not be increased in the absence of a
- The QGC Voting Directors unanimously recommend that QGC shareholders accept
BG Group's offer in the absence of a superior proposal. On the same basis, the Voting
Directors who hold or control QGC shares have indicated that they intend to accept BG
Group's offer in respect of the entirety of their shareholdings in QGC. Those holdings
(excluding the shares held by the QGC Chairman and Managing Director that are the
subject of the pre-bid agreements referred to below) amount to, in aggregate, 7.1% of the
issued share capital of QGC.
- BG Group has pre-bid agreements to acquire the entire shareholdings of QGC's two largest
institutional investors, ANZ Infrastructure Services Pty Ltd and Sentient Group, as well as
pre-bid agreements to acquire certain shares held by QGC Chairman Robert Bryan and
QGC Managing Director Richard Cottee. Those agreements, combined with BG Group's
existing stake, take BG Group's relevant interest in QGC to 17.1%.
- In addition, as of the close of trading on ASX on 28 October 2008, BG Group's
Wholly owned Australian subsidiary, BG International (AUS) Investments Pty Limited
(BG AUS), had acquired more than 100 million shares in QGC at the offer price,
representing 10.9% of QGC issued share capital.
- AGL Energy Limited (AGL) has indicated that it intends to sell its 22%
shareholding in QGC into BG Group's recommended takeover bid in the absence of a
superior offer for the entirety of QGC. Separately, AGL has also entered into an option
agreement with BG AUS, detailed later in this announcement.
- BG Group estimates that its existing shareholding in QGC, taken together with QGC shares
acquired in trading on ASX today (28 October 2008) and QGC shares that are subject to
pre-bid acceptances and declarations of intention from shareholders, now accounts for a
total of up to 57.0% of all the issued share capital in QGC.
- BG Group has received advice from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board that
there are no objections to the Group's plans to acquire 100% of QGC.
- BG Group intends to retain and further develop the QGC brand, management and staff.
QGC Chairman Robert Bryan said: "In the eight years since QGC was founded, the Company has
prospered beyond our most optimistic expectations, delivering very significant value to
shareholders. The next phase of QGC's evolution would require a step-change in the Company's
skills base, organizational resources and balance sheet capacity. While QGC's deepening
relationship with BG Group has been fruitful and positive, it has also clearly revealed the
opportunity to create additional value through efficiencies from the integration of the two
companies' assets and skills under single-company ownership."
"This offer represents a full and fair premium for QGC shareholders. Given this, the Voting
Directors have unanimously decided to recommend BG Group's offer, which the Board regards as
an excellent outcome for QGC's many supporters."
QGC Managing Director Richard Cottee said: "BG Group's unconditional all-cash offer is an
attractive reward for our loyal shareholders. It is appropriate that I am today to be a cornerstone
seller into this on-market offer. QGC is a world-class coal seam gas producer. BG Group is a world
leader in natural gas, with a very strong track record in exploration, production and liquefied natural
gas (LNG), as well as superb project management skills. This transaction will meld two specialist
skill sets to create the only seamless, vertically-integrated LNG proponent in Eastern Australia."
"BG Group and QGC are absolutely dedicated to ensuring the success of the Queensland Curtis
LNG Project – and the jobs and revenues for Queensland that the project represents. It is clear
that BG Group has the market knowledge, global experience and financial muscle to make one of
Australia's largest capital infrastructure projects happen over the next five years.''
"We are tremendously proud of everything QGC has achieved in its maturation from junior explorer
to a leader in the coal seam gas sector. The technical expertise of our outstanding staff has
underpinned that transformation, creating a lasting legacy of jobs, wealth and cleaner energy as
part of our major contribution to the community. I believe QGC will continue to prosper as
BG Group expands on our vision of creating a world-class energy facility in Queensland."
BG Group Chief Executive Frank Chapman said: "This transaction brings together two highly
successful companies with complementary skills and assets and a shared focus on the creation of
long-term value for shareholders. Our offer builds on the successful alliance between BG Group
and QGC, which has already led to the establishment of effective collaborative relationships at all
"Establishing a single integrated organization within a one-company ownership structure allows
BG Group to optimize the development of the LNG scheme as well as expand QGC's resource
base for the supply of both domestic and export markets. The benefits arising from this transaction
accrue to both sets of shareholders, with BG Group gaining the opportunity to invest in the longterm
growth of upstream production and LNG liquefaction, and QGC shareholders gaining a
certain and fair cash premium."
It is anticipated that there will be an immaterial impact on earnings per share until the Queensland
Curtis LNG Project begins production, after which the acquisition is expected to be earningsaccretive
for BG Group.
The transaction is driven by several strategic factors. It would:
- establish a material BG Group business in Australia -- a stable and attractive OECD investment
- mark a step-change in the scale of BG Group's Asia-Pacific business, with undeveloped
resource potential located close to valuable domestic and regional markets;
- enhance BG Group's global LNG position by securing new equity supplies from the
Queensland Curtis LNG Project; and
- offer a key opportunity to extend QGC's industry-leading coal seam gas (CSG) skills
internationally, as access to conventional hydrocarbon sources becomes increasingly
challenging and resource holders seek partners with expertise in the development of
unconventional gas alternatives.
BG Group investment in Queensland and Australia
BG Group is a committed long-term investor in Queensland and Australia. Anticipated benefits
arising from BG Group's investment plans include:
- the expansion in the supply available to Australian downstream and export gas markets
resulting from the development of QGC's reserves and resources;
- a long-term positive economic impact for businesses and consumers as a consequence of the
increased availability of cost-competitive gas resources;
- the development of a new skills base in Queensland as the state becomes home to a new
world-class industrial sector;
- the addition of new LNG export revenues flowing to the state of Queensland; and
- the creation of up to 4,400 new jobs during the construction and operational phases of the
Queensland Curtis LNG Project.
The expansion in gas supply will also play a role in supporting Government climate change
strategies. There is widespread support across Australia for greater gas utilization, as a lower-carbon
alternative to coal or oil, in response to the challenge of global warming linked to the use of
other fossil fuels.
People and assets
- QGC management and employees have highly valuable skills and experience. BG Group
intends to retain QGC's people while further developing their careers within a global energy
company. BG Group also intends to create new jobs as part of its investment plans.
- BG Group intends to retain and further develop QGC's existing assets, including its current
operations, and to maintain the head office in Brisbane.
- BG Group intends to retain and further develop the distinctive and respected QGC brand.
QGC-BG Group relationship
Since listing on the ASX in 2000, QGC has become one of Queensland's largest companies and a
leading Australian coal seam gas producer. The center of QGC's resource base lies in the
world-class coal seam gas play of the Walloon Fairway in the Surat Basin. QGC has an industry-leading
track record in exploration and production and consistently strong reserves growth from its
BG Group is a world leader in natural gas. Active in 27 countries on five continents, BG Group has
a broad portfolio of exploration and production, LNG, transmission and distribution and power
generation business interests.
In February 2008, BG Group and QGC announced an alliance to co-operate in CSG exploration
and production, the development of domestic market opportunities and the construction of a new
LNG export facility on the Queensland coast.
Under the terms of the alliance agreement, which was completed in April 2008, BG Group acquired
a 9.9% stake in QGC and a 20% interest in QGC's coal seam gas assets in the Surat Basin.
BG Group and QGC are also developing the Queensland Curtis LNG Project (BG Group 70%;
QGC 30%), to be built on Curtis Island near Gladstone. BG Group has the rights to purchase and
market 100% of the LNG produced by that facility.
Since the alliance was formed, QGC has announced increases in reserves held by QGC and
BG Group, taking 2P reserves to 2,703 petajoules (PJ) and 3P reserves to 7,103 PJ. QGC will also
acquire an additional 469 PJ of 2P reserves upon completion of its recommended takeover of
Sunshine, set out below. For an explanation of reserves classification, please see the Notes for
The Final Investment Decision for the Queensland Curtis LNG Project is anticipated in 2010, with
two trains of LNG planned in the first phase of development producing 7.5 million tonnes per
annum (mtpa) of LNG, and total planned capacity of up to 12 mtpa. The Front-End Engineering
and Design (FEED) study is now underway, led by the project contractor Bechtel Oil, Gas &
Chemicals, Inc., and commissioning is expected to begin in 2013.
BG Group will finance this acquisition from its cash reserves, supplemented as required from the
Group's existing committed facilities.
BG Group is being advised by J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs International and Morgan Stanley
Australia Limited. Legal advisers are Mallesons Stephen Jaques.
QGC has retained Austock Corporate Finance Pty Ltd and ABN AMRO Morgans Corporate Limited
as financial advisers. Legal advisers are McCullough Robertson.