Exxon just beat out a competitor for a $2 billion natural gas explorer

Exxon Mobil is buying InterOil in a deal worth more than $2.5 billion.

In a statement on Thursday, Exxon said it will pay $45 per share for the oil and gas company, which has a market cap of about $2.4 billion.

“InterOil’s resources will enhance Exxon Mobil’s already successful business in Papua New Guinea and bolster the company’s strong position in liquefied natural gas,” Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said in the statement.

Exxon would get six licenses to operate in about four million acres of land in Papua New Guinea previously owned by InterOil.

The announcement culminates Exxon’s winning bid for the company. Earlier, Oil Search said it won’t top the competing offer for InterOil because that won’t have been in its shareholders’ best interest, according to the Wall Street Journal. ExxonMobil will pay Oil Search a termination fee.

Under the agreement, InterOil shareholders will get $45 per share of InterOil, paid in ExxonMobile shares, when the deal closes.

The deal was unanimously approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close in September 2016.

Shares of both companies were little changed following the announcement.

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