Beach Petroleum announced today that almost 57 million of the 80 million 60 cent options eligible for conversion on March 31, 2006, had been converted to ordinary shares.
The A$0.60 conversion price compares with Beach Petroleum's closing price on the Australian Stock Exchange last night (Wednesday April 12, 2006) of A$1.375 per share.
"The exceptionally high conversion rate is an endorsement by shareholders of the success of the current growth strategy installed three years ago," Beach Petroleum's Managing Director, Mr. Reg Nelson, said today.
"This strategy has seen an expansion of Beach's exploration and production assets to achieve a highly balanced and diverse portfolio with measurable growth in earnings and dividends, not just as a consequence of the high oil price environment," Mr. Nelson said.
"Significantly, our success is continuing to underpin and advance on track the Company's clear long-term aim to build Beach into a billion dollar-plus petroleum entity."
Beach Chairman, Mr. Bob Kennedy, said that the issue of the bonus options was part of a conscious effort by Directors to deliver tangible benefits to shareholders in addition to the continued stream of dividend payments instituted by the Company over the past 3-1/2 years.
The option take-up has resulted in Beach issuing approximately 57 million new ordinary shares to take its total number of shares on issue to 508.5 million.
The Company has 23 million 60 cent options still outstanding, convertible by June 30, 2006 and will now issue a further 50 million new $1.00 options which are convertible by September 30, 2006.
This offer, on a 1 for every 10 shares held basis, was announced on March 1st this year when Beach reported a record net profit of A$31.3 million for the opening half of 2005- 2006.
Mr. Nelson said a full conversion of all of these outstanding options would add a further $64 million to Beach Petroleum's cash position by September 30, 2006.
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