Scepter Partners Backs Former CEO of Santos with $5.1 Billion to Take Company Private

Australia, Europe, North America, United States

22/10/2015 — NEW YORK — (BUSINESS WIRE)

Scepter Partners, a standing syndicate of ultra-high net worth individuals and sovereign investors, confirms that on 20 October 2015 it made a non‐binding indicative proposal (“Indicative Proposal”) to acquire 100% of Santos Limited (“Santos”), a significant independent oil and gas company in Australia. The offer was at A$6.88 (US$4.97) per share in cash by way of a scheme of arrangement subject to a range of market‐standard conditions which equates to a market value of equity of A$7.1 billion (US$ 5.1 billion).

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John Ellice-Flint (Photo: Business Wire)John Ellice-Flint (Photo: Business Wire)

The Indicative Proposal, if implemented, would deliver the following to Santos’ shareholders:

  • 26% premium to Santos’ closing price on 19 October, being the last trading day before the proposal was submitted.
  • 38% premium to Santos’ 1-month volume weighted average (VWAP) price up to 19 October.
  • 40% premium to the VWAP since 21 August 2015 which was the date on which Santos announced its strategic review.

John Ellice-Flint led Santos management to create over A$8 billion (US$5.8 billion) of value while the company was under his stewardship from December 2000 to June 2008. Mr. Ellice-Flint is widely regarded as one of the foremost oil and gas executives in Australasia.

Mr. Ellice‐Flint would serve as Executive Chairman of the privatized Santos should any Indicative Proposal ultimately succeed. Mr. Ellice‐Flint commented, “Our vision is to build Santos into an Asian oil and gas leader, based in South Australia, harnessing the skills and experience of the Santos workforce.”

With offices in New York and representative offices in London and Beijing, Scepter was founded by financier Rayo Withanage to acquire large assets with a focus in natural resources, infrastructure, real estate and media and telecommunications. Scepter’s global merchant banking activities are led by natural resources investment banking veteran Anthony J. Steains and his former Blackstone Asia Advisory Partners team.

Mr. Steains commented, “Scepter considers that this Indicative Proposal, if implemented, would provide Santos shareholders with an attractive premium and the certainty of cash in the face of significant future uncertainty. Scepter’s plan would be to build and grow a significant oil and gas business that advanced the presence of Australian companies in Asia.”

As a principal investor, Scepter is supported by the discretionary assets of a core syndicate of investors who have combined resources to invest in large transactions globally. Scepter is represented in this transaction by Highbury Partnership and Gilbert & Tobin. For more information, please visit

Important Legal Notice

Scepter Partners is a principal investor that does not require authorization by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Securities and Exchange Commission or by any financial services regulatory body. Scepter is a private investor that does not represent any government, including but not limited to Brunei, the UAE or any other member of the Gulf Cooperation Council.



For further information, please contact:
Australia Media: Domestique Consulting
Ross Thornton, +61 418 233 062
Lauren Thompson, +61 438 954 729
Global Media: Hill + Knowlton
Joe Millsap, +212 885 0464
Government Advisor: Bespoke Approach
Ian Smith, +61 418 814 611

KEYWORDS:   Australia  United States  Europe  North America  Australia/Oceania  New York

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Energy  Oil/Gas  Professional Services  Finance


John Ellice-Flint (Photo: Business Wire)