Royal Dutch Shell once again extends $1.8 bn offer for Cove Energy

European energy giant Royal Dutch Shell has once again extended its $1.8-billion offer for Cove Energy, as it vies for control of the Mozambique-focussed oil and gas explorer with Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP).

The Anglo-Dutch company's 220 pence a share offer will now lapse on 27 June, giving shareholders of Cove Energy two more weeks to accept its offer.

In February, Shell, Europe's largest oil company, had offered to buy Cove for $1.57 billion in cash, and in April raised its offer to 220 pence a share or $1.8 billion to match a similar counter offer from PTTEP.

Shell's offer was accepted by the board of Cove.

A day before the expiry of Shell's offer, PTTEP raised its bid in May to 240 pence or $1.9 billion. Cove's board did an about turn and urged its shareholders to accept PTTEP's raised offer.

Shell has only received acceptances from around 4.8 per cent of Cove shareholders until its last offer closed yesterday, but by extending it, Shell is preparing to trump PTTEP's revised offer, according to analysts.