Shell and Thailand’s PTTEP have been called into an auction to buy out Cove Energy.

London’s Takeover Panel has ruled that the two companies have until 16 July to make revised offers for Cove. And if a competition for Cove still exists by then the London takeover panel has said an auction will take place.

Shell and PTTEP are then free to make a revised offer by 17 July and after that either company is free to make further revised offer and this will continue on subsequent days until, on any given day, neither Shell or PTTEP – the “offerors” – announces a revised offer, in which case the auction will end at 5pm on that day.

And the panel can announce a time limit for the auction procedure.

Shell originally announced its cash offer for Cove Energy on 24 April, based on 220 pence per share, and published a offer document on 2 May. Thailand’s PTTEP announced a cash offer of 240 per share on 23 May.