Dana rejected a friendly bid from the firm last week after months of talks, saying the £18 per share offer “failed to recognise the value of the company’s recent developments and work in progress”.
KNOC had also refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement that would have banned it from purchasing extra Dana shares during the takeover period. This now leaves the group free to bulk up its stake aggressively.
“It’s definitely a live option, but at the same time a decision has not been made yet,” said a KNOC spokesperson yesterday.
He would not comment on the timescale for any action planned by KNOC, but the firm is tipped to pounce as early as this morning.
The group has courted Dana’s main shareholders in an attempt to smooth the path for a takeover. It has the support of a number of investors, notably Schroders, which has urged Dana to consider a bid at the level of £18 a share.
Meanwhile, energy firms Talisman, Nexen and ONGC have emerged as potential rivals in the battle to take control of Dana.