ASX-listed Zeta Resources' play to seize control of New Zealand & Gas did not meet the minimum acceptance condition and has lapsed, leaving a rival bid from Ofer Group Oil & Gas as the sole offer on the table.
In September, Zeta Energy, a subsidiary of Zeta Resources, formally lodged its offer of 72 cents a share for 42 per cent of NZOG's fully and partly paid shares it doesn't already own, subject to scaling.
Zeta had signed lock-up agreements with H&G, Bermuda Commercial Bank, Pan Pacific Petroleum and UIL. It also pitched its bid with the lure of another $50 million capital return to shareholders in the next six months.
NZOG independent directors recommended shareholders reject the offer after an independent valuation by Northington Partners valued the company at 78 cents-to-93 cents a share.
Zeta's bid was further complicated when OGOG, the oil and gas division of Ofer Global Group, came in with a proposal to offer 77 cents a share for no more than 70 per cent and at least a controlling stake and then sweetened the deal to 78 cents.
OGOG aims to preserve NZOG's exploration opportunities and has named the Barque prospect off the Canterbury coast as too interesting to ignore.
If it wins over shareholders it plans to find international partners for the deepwater prospect.
In contrast, Zeta wants NZOG to scale back its business.
"Any acceptances for Zeta Energy's offer no longer have any effect, and shareholders who have lodged acceptances for Zeta Energy's offer can now, if they wish, accept the OG Oil & Gas offer in respect of the shares tendered to Zeta Resources, along with any shares not tendered," Duncan Saville, as Zeta chairman, said in a statement.
The stock slipped 1.3 per cent to 76 cents on Thursday.