Exxon Mobil Corp. emerged Thursday as the winning bidder for InterOil Corp., which has natural gas holdings in Papua New Guinea.
Exxon said it will pay $2.5 billion for InterOil in a deal that will complement its large liquefied natural gas facility in the country. Exxon hopes to capitalize on growing demand for cleaner fuels in Asia.
The Irving, Texas-based company will pay $45 a share and another $7.07 per share for each trillion cubic feet of gas in the Elk-Antelope field above 6.2 trillion cubic feet, up to 10 trillion cubic feet.
Exxon said its bid was at least 42 percent higher than a deal announced in May which would have seen Oil Search Ltd. buy InterOil. That sale was valued at $2.2 billion at the time, and Oil Search planned to sell much of InterOil's assets in turn to France's Total.
InterOil said its financial advisers determined that the Exxon bid was better. Exxon Mobil will pay InterOil's fee for breaking up the sale to Oil Search.
In afternoon trading, Exxon shares fell 26 cents to $93.67 and InterOil shares slipped 22 cents to $48.73.