South Korean trading company Posco International has signed a binding cash takeover offer with the Australian gas company Senex Energy that values Senex at about A$850 million ($609 million).

The proposal of A$4.60 cash per share to acquire 100% of Senex is by way of a scheme of arrangement.

Senex said on 13 December that Posco also supports Senex paying a dividend of up to A$0.05 per share for the half year ending 31 December 2021.

Senex said the cash offer price represents a 25% premium to the 30-day volume-weighted average price and a 34% premium to the 90-day volume-weighted average price up to 15 October 2021, which was the day before the first public announcement about the takeover discussions.

Senex said its board unanimously recommends that shareholders vote in favour of the scheme, in the absence of a superior proposal and an independent expert concluding that the scheme is fair and reasonable.

Main conditions of the scheme include Senex shareholder approval and approval by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.

If approved, the scheme is expected to complete in late March 2022, Senex said.

Senex chairman Trevor Bourne said: “Throughout our discussions with PIC [Posco], the Senex board has been focused on maximising value for our shareholders.

“The offer announced today… reflects an attractive value for Senex and the opportunity for our shareholders to realise a certain cash price for their shares.”

The company's proven and probable reserves as at 30 July were 767 petajoules.

For Posco, this takeover will mark its debut in Australia's upstream oil and gas industry.

The energy analyst Wood Mackenzie said in October when the negotiations were announced: “An acquisition of Senex provides Posco with exposure to Australia’s east coast gas market at an opportune time. The Australian east coast supply demand outlook is precariously balanced, and a lack of new supply sources is expected to lead to rising prices.”

Woodmac research director Angus Rodger said: “Posco's existing portfolio is heavily weighted towards Myanmar and the producing Shwe gas field. However, the company has come under considerable pressure following the country’s military coup and has already halted other business interests in the country.”