ANOTHER spanner has been thrown into the works for Horizon Oil’s $800 million merger with Roc Oil after the latter announced it had received a third proposal from an unidentified bidder.

Roc revealed on 10 July that it had received a rival “confidential, unsolicited, indicative and incomplete proposal in relation to the acquisition of all the issued share capital of Roc.” Roc confirmed the proposal was independent of the indicative and non-binding approach it received back in June.

The third tilt for Roc Oil is set to complicate the merger for Roc and Horizon, with the approach coming just weeks out from a meeting to allow Horizon shareholders to vote on the scheme.

Roc said it had notified Horizon Oil of the approach.

“Shareholders do not need to take any action in response to the proposal,” Roc said.

Roc stressed that there was no certainty a proposal would develop into a formal offer for its shareholders.

The company made note of media speculation regarding the possible identity of the unknown entity making the approach and hosed down rumours.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on the two indicative approaches, however, we can confirm that Cliq Energy is not involved,” Roc said.

Roc chairman Mike Harding has previously touted the merger with Horizon as one of the best and complementary deals he had seen during his career, labelling it a “cracking deal.”

If the merger is successful, the oil and gas company with a focus on Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, China and New Zealand, would hold about $111 million in cash and have combined net 2P reserves of 36.9 million barrels of oil equivalent.