Serica's Board Says Nay to Salamander's All-Share Offer
The Board of Serica noted the announcement made by Salamander Energy plc regarding an unsolicited possible all-share offer for the Company. Serica confirms that following the market close on Friday, September 26, 2008, the Company received a highly preliminary, non-binding proposal from Salamander. The Proposal was for Salamander to acquire Serica on the basis of Serica shareholders receiving one new Salamander share for every three Serica shares currently held. Salamander required a response from the Company by no later than the evening of Sunday, September 28, 2008.
The Board of Serica considered the Proposal over the course of the weekend and unanimously concluded that the timing of the Salamander approach was opportunistic both in terms of the low price offered and the form of consideration being Salamander shares. In particular, the Proposal failed to reflect both the underlying value and potential which exists in Serica or a premium for control of the Company. Accordingly, the Board unanimously rejected the Proposal.
Commenting on the proposed offer by Salamander, Tony Craven Walker, Chairman of Serica said, "Salamander’s all share approach is both opportunistic and unwelcome. It fails to put a credible value on the Company's existing oil and gas assets and comes just at a time when Serica is commencing a nine month drilling program which has the potential to totally transform the Company.
"Serica's strategy has been to use its expertise to secure the rights to large undrilled gas prospects including particularly those which it has identified in UK and Irish waters, an area in which Salamander has no expertise and which lies well outside Salamander's area of focus which it states as being South East Asia.
These prospects, on which drilling is planned to start this October, contain the potential for major discoveries in areas in which there is a considerable demand for gas. The Company is well funded to meet this high impact program. Salamander's unsolicited approach is an unwelcome attempt to deprive Serica's shareholders of the substantial benefit that could result from this program which has taken considerable time and effort."
Serica shareholders are urged to take no action at this time. A further announcement will be made in due course.
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