* Woodside to pay ExxonMobil $744 mln for Scarborough stake
* Raising to also help fund projects in Australia, Senegal
* Share offering at 13 pct discount to last trade (Adds Woodside comments)
MELBOURNE, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Woodside Petroleum said on Wednesday it would raise A$2.5 billion ($1.96 billion) from shareholders to fund the purchase of ExxonMobil Corp’s stake in the Scarborough gas field and fund developments in Australia and Senegal.
The move puts the company, seen as short on near-term growth prospects, in a better position to develop the Scarborough field off Western Australia, as it will now have a 75 percent stake and take over operatorship.
Woodside agreed to buy ExxonMobil’s 50 percent stake in Scarborough for up to $744 million, with part of that due pending a final investment decision on developing the field.
The rest of the money being raised through an offer to existing shareholders will be used to support work on Scarborough, the SNE oil project off Senegal, and progress towards a final investment decision on the Browse field off Western Australia.
“Today’s raising puts Woodside and our shareholders in a strong position. It will allow us to develop new supply that we expect to be materially value accretive,” Woodside Chief Executive Peter Coleman said in a statement.
Woodside will be offering one new share for every nine shares owned at A$27 a share, a 13 percent discount to Woodside’s last trade.
$1 = 1.2724 Australian dollars Reporting by Sonali Paul; editing by Diane Craft