DNO Adds to Faroe Stake in Hostile Takeover Saga
Norwegian oil company DNO has achieved another slight increase to its stake in Faroe Petroleum, it said on Friday as it continues its battle for control of the British business.
DNO's combined ownership and bid acceptances now stands at 43.8 percent, up from about 43 percent on Thursday but still short of a controlling stake in London-listed Faroe.
It had previously required backing from 57.5 percent of Faroe shareholders to take control, but that fell to 50 percent on Thursday after it lifted its holding sufficiently to turn the bid from voluntary to mandatory and thus subject to takeover regulation requiring a lower threshold.
Faroe separately reiterated its view on Friday that the 610 million pound ($772 million) offer was inadequate, undervaluing the North Sea portfolio that DNO covets as it seeks to expand its operations, which are primarily based in the Middle East.
A report by oil industry analysts Gaffney, Cline & Associates, first released by Faroe on Wednesday, valued the Aberdeen-based company's shares at between 186 and 225 pence, a premium of up to 48 percent on DNO's offer price of 152 pence.
DNO's shares traded up 4 percent by 0843, supported by a 1.6 percent increase in the price of crude oil, while Faroe shares rose 0.5 percent to 154 pence.
Faroe shareholders have been set a Jan. 18 deadline to decide whether to accept DNO's bid.
($1 = 0.7899 pounds)
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik Editing by David Goodman)