S.Korea's KNOC sticks with offer price for Dana

9th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

South Korea's state oil firm said Thursday its 1,800-pence-a-share offer for British oil explorer Dana Petroleum is full and final, and rejected suggestions it has undervalued the firm.

Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) has launched a hostile bid for Dana, which has operations in Europe and North Africa and is worth about 1.87 billion pounds (2.3 billion euros, 2.9 billion dollars).

Dana released a lengthy defence document Wednesday outlining its growth strategy and suggesting a higher valuation is justified.

But KNOC said it would not raise its price for Dana and gave it until September 23 to formally decide.

KNOC said in a statement it continues to believe that its offer provides "compelling value in cash" for Dana shareholders and "full and fair value" for the entire portfolio of assets.

"KNOC confirms... that the defence document and the announcements do not contain any information that alters KNOC's view on value," it said, underlining that it does not need the support of Dana's board to go ahead with the takeover.

The South Korean company said earlier it had already won the support of nearly half of Dana's shareholders despite management opposition.

However KNOC said it reserves the right to raise its offer "if a competitive situation arises" such as an offer by a third party.

The bid marks the first time that a state-owned oil firm has launched a hostile takeover of a British company.

Dana, based in the Scottish city of Aberdeen, has interests in 36 producing oil and gas fields, including in Egypt and the North Sea.

South Korea is the latest Asian nation to seek overseas expansion after Chinese state firm Sinopec bought Switzerland-based Addax Petroleum for 7.2 billion dollars last year.

Industry experts forecast that Asia will drive global energy demand in coming years.

© 2010 AFP

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