Woodside Energy ceases talks on $52 billion Santos merger

Signage for Woodside Energy Group Ltd. atop the Mia Yellagonga building, which houses the company’s headquarters, in Perth, Australia, on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2023.

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Australia’s Woodside Energy said on Wednesday it had ended talks with Santos to create a possible AU$80 billion ($52.22 billion) global oil and gas giant.

Woodside said it would only pursue a deal that would add value for its shareholders.

Santos shares dropped 5% soon after the news was announced while Woodside’s stock rose 2% on Wednesday.

“While the discussions with Santos did not result in a transaction, Woodside considers that the global LNG sector provides significant potential for value creation,” Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said in a statement.

Woodside investor explains why he is against a potential Santos merger

Woodside had faced pressure from some investors not to pay a premium for Santos.

The deal would have been one of the largest corporate takeovers in Australian history.

If the merger had taken place, it would have created a major global liquefied natural gas producer that could attract more offshore investors as gas is seen as a key bridging fuel in the shift to cleaner energy.

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