Woodside Petroleum Ltd. subsidiary ATS Inc. extended its all-cash tender offer of $23/share for New Orleans-based Energy Partners Ltd. (EPL) on Friday, but EPL shot back that the price remained “inadequate” and “not in the best interests of shareholders.”

Last week, EPL terminated an agreement to buy Stone Energy Corp. and said it was exploring other alternatives for the company, including a possible sale (see Daily GPI, Oct. 13).

Australian-based Woodside has pursued EPL for several months, but EPL rejected a takeover bid of $23/share, or about $880 million in September (see Daily GPI, Sept. 15; Sept. 1). Woodside, which had extended its offer until Oct. 20 (see Daily GPI, Oct. 3), extended the offer for a second time Friday to Oct. 27. The offer of $23/share is subject to an increase of up to $24 under certain circumstances, ATS noted. ATS said Friday it holds about 63,400 EPL shares, or about 1% of the stock.

EPL is not biting.

“For the second time, ATS has extended its tender offer with significantly fewer than 1% of EPL’s outstanding shares having been tendered,” EPL stated. “We believe that these results demonstrate our stockholders’ continuing support for the recent decisions taken by our board, including the authorization of a process to explore strategic alternatives to maximize stockholder value, including the possible sale of the company. We are pleased that our stockholders recognize that our board’s process provides a greater opportunity to maximize stockholder value than ATS’ inadequate offer.”

EPL also has filed a preliminary consent revocation statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in opposition to ATS’ efforts to remove EPL’s directors and replace them with what it called ATS’ “handpicked, paid nominees.”

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