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Petronas’s $3 Billion Buyout Bid for MISC Fails After Revolt

MISC Bhd., the world’s second-largest liquefied natural gas shipping company, said Petroliam Nasional Bhd. withdrew its 9.16 billion ringgit ($3 billion) buyout offer after failing to win minority shareholder support.

Petronas, as Malaysia’s state oil and gas company is known, increased its bid by 3.8 percent to 5.50 ringgit on April 5. The Employees Provident Fund, MISC’s second-biggest shareholder with a 9.5 percent holding, accepted the new offer after earlier backing minority shareholders who complained the initial offer of 5.30 ringgit per share was too low.

MISC said today in a Kuala Lumpur stock exchange filing that 23.4 percent of shareholders had accepted the latest bid. Together with the shares Petronas already holds, that gives it an 86.07 percent stake, failing to meet the 90 percent threshold Petronas had set.

Independent adviser AmInvestment Bank Bhd. described the revised bid as “not fair but reasonable” taking into account the “risks and challenges” faced by MISC and had urged minority shareholders to accept. The offer translates into a discount of between 3.3 percent and 9.8 percent to the company’s sum-of-parts valuation, it said in an April 8 report.

MISC shares closed 2.6 percent lower today at 5.30 ringgit. The statement was released after close of trading.

MISC shut its container-ship business last year to focus on LNG tankers after the cargo-box unit made losses of $789 million over three years due to global overcapacity and falling rates. Petronas, which already owned a 63 percent stake, has said a buyout would provide it with greater flexibility in deciding strategic direction.

MISC operates the world’s biggest fleet of LNG ships after Qatar Gas Transport Co., according to Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker.

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