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The chairman of Roc Oil Limited, Mark Harding is firm that the company’s $800 million merger with Papua New Guinea-focused Horizon Oil will drive long-term value growth.

Addressing shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting yesterday, Harding said ROC had consulted with the Australian Securities Exchange on the merger and was advised a shareholder vote was not required.“This is in accordance with the ASX listing rules which have allowed this type of transaction for the last 15 years.

“The board decided to proceed with the merger without a shareholder vote because the transaction is in total alignment with our stated growth strategy.

“It is with Horizon Oil, which we know well, with assets we believe will add significantly to the ROC business in the long term and we have conducted very extensive due diligence and the board unanimously believe that this transaction will create shareholder value.

“This transaction delivers a far greater growth path than we could ever achieve on our own.

“We believe the merger is in the best interests of shareholders.” Harding says.

Harding played down the criticism over the board’s decision not to allow shareholders to vote on the merger, saying that the merger is for the best interest of the shareholders.