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Share in Wessex Exploration may have lost some of their spark since French oil major Total walked away from pursuing a takeover of the Aim-quoted junior last week.
Wessex’s main asset is a 1.25 per cent interest in a recent find off French Guiana, which is estimated to hold 1.7bn barrels of oil or more. The company initially indicated that it was minded to accept a 10p-a-share approach made in March which valued it at £71m.
But later it reversed its stance, saying that leading shareholders were now demanding more than the 10p on the table.
The subsequent withdrawal of Total, which along with Tullow Oil and Royal Dutch Shell hold major stakes in the licence, has seen Wessex’s share price retreat to 8.29p.
But that is still ahead of the 5p-6p range in which its shares had traded in during the months leading up to the approach. With post-placing net cash of £12m, the implied valuation of $4.75 a barrel factored into Total’s rebuffed approach appeared in line with other recent deals.