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17 December 20215 minute read

DLA Piper advises on AUD860 million proposed acquisition

DLA Piper has advised POSCO International (PIC), a separately-listed trading arm of South Korea's steel group POSCO, with its proposed AUD860 million acquisition of a public Australian gas producer Senex Energy.

“This is the largest global acquisition PIC has made since joining the POSCO group,” said Daniel Lee, Partner, DLA Piper in Seoul.

Mr Lee said our cross-border multi-disciplinary team has worked tirelessly since June and assisted PIC to sign the Scheme Implementation Agreement on 11 December 2021.  James Stewart and Andrew Fisken, partners in the Australian M&A team led the team on the ground for this deal and DK Kim, of counsel in Seoul, worked closely with the client in Korea.

“Working very closely with PIC team, we managed the complexity of acquiring a public company through a scheme of arrangement” Mr Stewart said.

The deal involved having Hancock Energy, part of the Hancock Prospecting group which co-owns Roy Hill, the largest single iron ore mine in Australia with POSCO (PIC’s parent co), join as a joint venture partner to acquire Senex together.

Through this joint venture, PIC will own 50.1% and Hancock will own 49.9% of the SPC which will wholly own Senex Energy after the completion of the scheme.

Senex operates exploration permits covering more than 70,000 square kilometers in South Australia and Queensland.

PIC’s acquisition of Senex will enable PIC to hold one of the largest natural gas assets portfolios in Asia. PIC already owns a gas project in Myanmar, an important natural gas producer in Asia, and delivers natural gas to China through a Myanmar-China gas pipeline.

As the Scheme Implementation Agreement has been signed with Senex’s board’s recommendation, the DLA Piper team will continue to assist PIC to complete the scheme through the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval and shareholder approval processes and court proceedings to be able to successfully acquire 100% of Senex’s shares from its shareholders.  

DLA Piper thanks Andrew Fisken and James Stewart, who led the Australian team, alongside DK Donghyun Kim who led the Seoul team. We also thank Roger Hawkins, Tarrant Sewell, Jonathan Pham, Davina Khoo, Daisy Eales, Rhys Davies, Jenita Iyalu, Mariko Hunt, Alyson Eather, Peggy Thom, Madelaine Hogan, Rick Catanzariti, and Charlotte Elliott.

“Our global team was instrumental in making this deal a success and we look forward to continuing to work with our valued client on the next phase of this initiative,” Mr Fisken said.

Media Contact: Nicholas Davy, 0437 036 369