SHAREHOLDERS of Malaysia’s Sona Petroleum have rejected its bid to wholly acquire an oilfield off the Western Australian coast, voting down the proposal at an extraordinary general meeting.

The company had signed an agreement worth US$50 million for the acquisition of the Stag oilfield, located in production licence WA 15 L in the Carnarvon basin.

Sona had planned to spend about A$147.4 million on drilling expenses in 2017 and 2018, before applying to the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administration for renewal of the permit.

Signed with operator Quadrant Energy and Santos Energy in November, the purchase price was later reduced to US$25 million in response to lower global oil prices.

But even a halving of the purchase price was not enough for Sona shareholders, with 77.4 per cent of them voting against the proposed acquisition at a meeting held in late April.

Sona is Malaysia’s largest special purpose acquisition company – a group that carries out an initial public offer to fund the acquisition of assets, known as its qualifying acquisition (QA).

Following this, Sona told the Bursa Malaysia that it was considering the next steps and options with regards to the acquisition.

“Accordingly, the company will make an announcement in due course once these matters have been deliberated,” it said.

According to reports, Sona has only until 29 July to secure approval for a QA before it is in danger of being liquidated.