Middle East interests make a $7.14 billion bid for Santos and its shares are going nuts

The Santos operated LNG plant under construction at Curtis Island, Gladstone

Shares in energy producer Santos soared after a $AU7.14 billion takeover bid from Scepter Partners, a Middle East-based private investment company.

Santos says the $6.88 a share proposal is opportunistic and does not reflect the fair underlying asset value of the company.

Scepter told Santos that it is a direct investment business whose stakeholders include a syndicate of ruling families, ultra-high-net-worth industrialists and sovereign wealth funds.

Santos has been shedding costs as it deals with sharply lower oil prices. The company saw its net profit drop 82% to $37 million for the half year.

The oil and gas producer managed to get just $US60 per barrel in the six months to June compared to $US115 in the previous first half, a 47% fall.

Santos shares jumped about 20% on the news today. A short time ago, they were up more than 17% to $6.39.

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