Let me begin by being clear about the final bid date. The final bid date is NOT changing. It is Feb 28th. The bidders are still tweaking, refining, enhancing their bids. Each bid will require a thorough financial analysis by the bankers using a standardized framework across all the bidders. The modeling and analysis process will take some time, even with the bankers working nearly 24/7. There are numerous variables contained in each bid: the percentage of the LNG plant IOC will own, whether there is a cost overrun guarantee provided by the bidder (this is VERY valuable to IOC), amount of cash and the percentage paid on signing the definitive agreements vs. various milestones, exploration options beyond E/A and the economics around new resources, etc., etc.. All of this analysis needs to be done for each the 4-6 bids coming in. Given the complexity and the total dollars involved, the IBs will need AT LEAST 1.5 weeks to complete the bid analysis for each bid and get fairness opinions drafted and signed off and make day-long presentations to the IOC Board. Anyone that says otherwise either has not been through these processes (I have been through several as a principal) and/or does not understand the legal standards an IB must meet in order to satisfy the standard of care (as an attorney with 15+ years of M&A and transactional experience involving public companies, I do). Hence, the EARLIEST you should expect the IOC Board to meet is March 9-10. If there is a clear winner, you could hear an announcement from InterOil the week of March 11th.
Chatter is that the bid process is extremely active and the 4 conforming bidders are highly engaged, eager and focused on winning. This is why you saw the stock move up over the last week. Some of the shorts located in Australia have better access to real-time information/developments and have concluded the deal is going to happen and it will be quite favorable for IOC. That said, I would not be surprised, if either of the 2 non-conforming entities (both SMs) make a takeover offer for 100% of InterOil before the signing of the definitive agreements. Just to be super clear, the most likely time for a takeover bid for InterOil is after the sell-down partner/deal is announced and before the definitive agreements are signed for the sell-down deal. It typically takes 2-3 months between deal announcement and the deal closing.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
March 6th Wayne Andrews will speak ar RJ and he needs something to say!!Deal update from the Feb 28th bid submissions. I can verify the IBers asked for 7 more days and that the Board will consider offers the week of March 11th. No time to be short IOC in any fashion.The who, the price, the when no one knows today.