Merlin Petroleum has been forced to withdraw its prospectus after failing to meet its first expenditure obligations on its Cooper Basin exploration program and subsequently has been bounced by the joint venture partners.
Merlin Petroleum's Australian portfolio.
In a statement released on Friday the company's take on events said the IPO, on the ASX and the UK AIM market, will not proceed pending a re-assessment of the company's strategy in the light of new developments and opportunities which have come forward since the prospectus was finalised and approved.
"Changes associated with an extension of the farmin agreement with Victoria Petroleum in the Cooper Basin coupled with the impact of a farmin offer in relation to our central Australian permit and the expected imminent granting of EPA 93 meant that substantial changes would have been required to the existing prospectus," said managing director John Heugh.
However, much talk at last week's Good Oil conference surrounded the failure of Merlin to meet its first cash call, amid the recent positive listings of other floats.
Trying to put a positive spin on the result Heugh said the level of investor support for the IPO and the increased value which could now be attributed to its 100% controlled holdings which provided a very sound foundation on which to recast the company's strategy.
In regards to the new developments, Heugh added that the company has finalised the terms and conditions of a farm-in offer it had recently received in respect of its eight million acres of prospective ground in the Northern Territory and South Australia.