The battle is on to get control of oil and gas explorer AWE after mining services provider Mineral Resources Ltd trumped a $463 million all-cash bid by China Energy Reserve & Chemicals Group Co with its all-share offer.
Mineral Resources, which mines lithium and iron ore, made an all-scrip offer of 80¢ a share, valuing AWE at about $507 million.
The Mineral Resources offer is not conditional on due diligence.
AWE has told its shareholders that the board will evaluate both offers and make a recommendation in due course.
In its statement to the market, Mineral Resources made it clear the firm was moving into energy securing gas assets including LNG plants.
AWE owns 50 percent of the Waitsia field in Western Australia, which is reportedly Australia’s largest onshore conventional gas discovery in the past 40 years.
Mineral Resources said none of the Waitsia gas would be sold offshore.