Roc Oil Gets Takeover Bid Aimed at Thwarting Horizon Merger Plan

Roc Oil Co. (ROC), the Australian explorer planning to combine with Horizon Oil Ltd. (HZN) to create an A$800 million ($749 million) company, received a takeover bid from an unidentified suitor.

Roc was approached with a “confidential, unsolicited, indicative and incomplete” proposal to acquire all of its shares, the Sydney-based company said today in a statement.

Horizon will evaluate its position if a competing proposal emerges, the Sydney-based company said in a separate statement. It’s unclear whether the proposal will go ahead or affect the timing of the Roc merger, according to Horizon’s statement.

The approach complicates the agreement by Horizon and Roc to merge operations stretching from China to Malaysia. A combined company would be in a better position to expand, the two companies said in April. Roc’s assets are in China, Australia, Malaysia and the U.K., its website shows.

The deal has faced opposition from Allan Gray Australia Pty, Roc’s largest shareholder. The investor said last month that it was upset Horizon investors were the only ones to get a vote on the proposal.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in Sydney at jpaton4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net Iain Wilson

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