JAPANESE energy powerhouse Mitsui & Co Ltd has entered the bidding war for Australia’s AWE Limited with an unsolicited, non-binding and conditional proposal to acquire 100% of the shares in AWE for cash consideration of $0.95 per share. If the Mitsui Proposal proceeds, it would be implemented by way of an off-market takeover bid for AWE.

Ownership in AWE was already the centre of a takeover battle between China’s China Energy Reserve and Chemicals Group (CERCG) and local mining services provider Mineral Resources Ltd.

The Mitsui bid is not conditional on due diligence, financing, regulatory approval or further internal approvals, but is conditional on:
*  Termination by AWE of the MinRes scheme implementation deed (SID) by close of business on Friday 2 February; and 
* Agreement of a bid implementation deed (BID) through which AWE’s directors unanimously recommend acceptance of a takeover bid to implement the Mitsui Proposal, in the absence of a superior proposal. 
Under the Mitsui Proposal, any takeover bid which is made by Mitsui to implement the proposal would be subject to a number of bid conditions.

AWE said its Board will evaluate the Mitsui Proposal and provide shareholders with a recommendation in due course and has recommended that shareholders take no action at this stage.