Santos Seeking Removal of 15% Shareholding Cap

Santos has lodged its formal submission in response to the South Australian Government's review of the Santos (Regulation of Shareholdings) Act 1989, which was announced on May 1, 2007.

Following analysis against each of the six Terms of Reference established by the South Australian Government (see attached), Santos strongly endorses full removal of the 15% shareholding cap. Specifically, Santos believes that:

  • The original intent of the shareholding cap, introduced 28 years ago, is no longer applicable;
  • The shareholding cap inhibits Santos' future growth;
  • Removal of the shareholding cap would not give rise to any significant risks to South Australia's economy, but there is considerable upside;
  • South Australia's energy security is now assured by integration into the south-eastern Australian energy network;
  • There would be no adverse implications for regional development; and
  • South Australia will benefit directly if Santos can achieve its full growth potential.

"Santos' Board and management strongly believe that the shareholding cap should be removed as it acts as an impediment to Santos realizing its full growth potential. Removal would deliver significant benefits to the company and by extension the South Australian economy," said Santos' Managing Director, Mr. John Ellice-Flint.

"Santos is a proud South Australian company that is committed to growing its presence in the state, a commitment demonstrated in April when the company moved into a new purpose-built Adelaide head office," he added.

The South Australian Government has indicated that it expects to complete its internal review by July 31, 2007 and for the Government to announce its intentions within two months of finalizing the review.