REPORT: A consortium is preparing a $11 billion takeover of Santos

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A consortium of major energy investors is reportedly building an $11 billion offer for Australian producer and natural gas exporter Santos.

The Australian Financial Review reports the investors are led by a former executive director of Royal Dutch Shell, Linda Cook.

The pricing is at about $5.30 a share, a 21% premium to yesterday’s closing price of $4.38.

In early trade today, Santos shares jumped 11% to $4.875.

“According to sources in European equity markets, Cook proposal is now fully funded from the capital pools of the US, Europe and Asia,” the AFR reports.

In a statement today, Santos said: “Santos receives a range of proposals from time to time and is at all times in compliance with its continuous disclosure obligations.”

Santos has been on a campaign to reduce debt, increasing free cash flow and cutting costs.

The September quarter trading updated showed net debt at $US2.8 billion, down from $US3.5 billion at the end of 2016.

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