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DENVER (AP) _ Natural gas producer Barrett Resources Corp. on Monday asked its shareholders to reject Shell Oil Co.’s sweetened offer of $60 per share.
Barrett’s board of directors voted unanimously to reject the bid, which was increased from $55 per share last week.
In a letter sent Monday to Shell president Walter van de Vijver, Barrett chairman Peter A. Dea invited Shell to submit its best and final offer by May 2. That is the deadline for any other companies to make an offer.
Shell spokeswoman Kitty Borah said the company had received Barrett’s letter and officials are reviewing it.
Dea said Barrett would consider offers with break-up fees as an incentive to companies to submit their best offers.
``In the event of a transaction with a break-up fee, the stockholders would receive the benefit of the entire consideration,″ Dea wrote.
Houston-based Shell first made its offer in March, when Barrett was trading at $45.62. Barrett’s board rejected the offer as inadequate and announced it would entertain offers from other companies.
Barrett’s stock closed up 10 cents to $64.35 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. Shell fell 36 cents to $50.09 and its parent, Royal Dutch/Shell, was down 62 cents to $59.53.