Gina Rinehart’s Hancock to win Warrego Energy bidding war as MinRes chips in

Mon 06 Feb 23, 12:00pm (AEST)
Australian currency placed on a tabletop alongside calculator, pen and magnifier
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Hancock Energy and Mineral Resources (MinRes) have existing working relationship
  • Hancock is acquiring Warrego while MinRes wants Norwest; both companies have assets in the Perth Basin of WA
  • Move represents a trend of two WA billionaire backed mining companies seeking to fuel projects with Perth Basin gasfield

The protracted bidding war for WA-based domestic energy explorer and producer Warrego Energy (ASX:WGO) all but wrapped up on Monday with Hancock Energy, headed by Gina Rinehart, winning a 50.54% stake in the company. 

That controlling interest in Warrego by Hancock Energy makes it incredibly likely that Hancock will now approve its own takeover offer in the Warrego boardroom. 

Hancock beats out Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) and Strike Energy (ASX:STX) in the race to capture Warrego. 

Beach Energy tapped out in early December. 

Bruised Strike still in ring

Strike Energy was increasing its offers in competition with Hancock in December last year, but Hancock has kept coming back with better offers.

On Monday, Hancock officially satisfied Warrego’s insistence the offer be increased by 40% such that Warrego shareholders will get 36c for every Warrego share. 

Before the takeover war began, Hancock’s lawyers noted on Monday, the share price for Warrego was ten cents lower at 25c. 

How did Hancock get a controlling interest? 

Hancock has picked up 50.54% of Warrego, becoming its controlling shareholder. 

This was made possible because Hancock partner Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) sold its shares into Hancock’s 36c/sh offer. 

MinRes’s Chris Ellison effectively combined its shareholding in Warrego with that of Hancock’s Gina Rinehart to pass Hancock the controlling interest. 

Hancock ultimately wants Warrego due to its assets in the Perth Basin, which both MinRes and Hancock perceive as desirable, due to the implication of low-cost gas-fired power for mining operations.

MinRes is also seeking to acquire Norwest Energy (ASX:NWE), also located in the Perth Basin

WGO's one year chart
WGO's one year chart


Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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