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NZ Oil & Gas awaits word of Cue board positions after securing 48% stake

New Zealand Oil & Gas is awaiting word from Cue Energy Resources on board representation, after securing 48 percent of the energy company it says may be encouraged to delist from the ASX.

NZOG made a hostile takeover bid for Cue at 10 Australian cents a share after buying 19.99 percent of the company in December from Todd Energy and has since picked up further stakes from shareholders including Todd and Zeta Resources. Its initial offer documents said it was seeking about 30 percent, although it is happy to sit at its current holding.

Cue owns 5 percent of the Maari oil and gas field, offshore Taranaki, adjacent to the Tui field, where NZOG has a 27.5 percent interest. Cue also has an interest in the nearby Manaia prospect.

NZOG "is seeking board influence that reflects its shareholding and a review of potential synergies between the companies," a company spokesman said.

The Wellington-based oil and gas company has said it plans to carry out a strategic review "on Cue's corporate structure, governance, assets, businesses, personnel and operations with a view to identifying potential areas where Cue's business can be enhanced." That review will consider whether continued listing on the ASX "constitutes value for money."

NZOG's foray into Cue reflects some wider consolidation in an industry beset by weak prices for crude oil. Last week, Zeta Resources, the ASX-listed investment group advised by Duncan Saville's ICM unit, made a full takeover bid for Pan Pacific Petroleum, valuing the target company at A$29.4 million. It currently owns 16.8 percent of PPP, which has a 15 percent interest in the Tui field.