POSCO International has launched a takeover bid to acquire Australian natural gas producer Senex Energy in a deal worth A$815m ($605m).

Under the revised offer, the trading arm of South Korea’s steel company POSCO proposes to acquire 100% of Senex for a cash offer price of A$4.40 per share.

POSCO International had already submitted two non-binding proposals in July and in August this year, offering a price of A$4.00 and A$4.20 per share, respectively.

Senex has confirmed that it is in discussions with POSCO International in relation to a potential transaction.

The coal seam gas producer stated: “The Senex Board believes it is in the best interests of its shareholders to continue to engage with POSCO International and will assess any proposal received on its merits.”

Senex has appointed Macquarie Capital and Rothschild & Co as financial advisors and Clayton Utz as legal advisor in connection with the offer.

The company stated that there is no guarantee that the talks would result in any binding agreement on a transaction.

POSCO International is expected to carry out the transaction by way of an off-market takeover, if it goes ahead.

The transaction is subject to a 50.1% minimum acceptance condition and Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval.

POSCO International, which is 62.9% owned by POSCO, specialises in oil and gas exploration and production, LNG, agri-resources and steel trading.

Senex’s natural gas presence currently consists of around 2,300km2 of acreage across the Surat and Bowen basins. It has two production operations in Queensland’s Surat Basin that include Atlas, near Wandoan, and Roma North, near Roma.

The company took a final investment decision on the expansion of gas production at Roma North project in October last year. The project is expected to increase gas production by 50% to 24 terra joule/day (TJ/d).

In November last year, Australian oil and gas exploration company Beach Energy (BPT) agreed to acquire all Senex’s Cooper Basin portfolio of assets for A$87.5m ($62.5m).

Covering an area of 10,876 km2, the acquisition consisted of all of Senex’s Cooper Basin assets, with an estimated 6.8 MMboe of proven and probable reserves.