Record deal won by Dana Petroleum

LISTED oil and gas group Dana Petroleum yesterday sealed a deal to buy Petro Canada Netherlands for €328m (£272.7m) in cash, its biggest ever acquisition, in order to open up access to the Dutch North Sea.

Dana, which has oil and gas assets in the UK and North Africa, will put the deal to shareholders at a general meeting planned for next month.

The firm expects the deal to boost its 2011 production by around 20-25 per cent compared to previous guidance, or by around 8,000–9,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). That figure is expected to rise to between 10,000 and 14,000 boepd in 2012 as new projects are brought onstream in the Netherlands.

Tom Cross, Dana’s chief executive, said the move represents “the most significant and exciting development in the company’s history”.

“The acquisition adds considerably to our operating capability in the North Sea, better positioning Dana to capitalise on the operated developments emerging from our own organic portfolio and to pursue further operated opportunities in the future,” Cross said. “It also extends our existing UK gas business, providing a European gas context and a first time exposure to gas storage technology and opportunities.”

He added that the acquisition would give the group a more balanced 60:40 oil-to-gas ratio.

Dana has also agreed a $900m loan and revolving credit facility with the Royal Bank of Canada to help fund the deal and as part of a broader corporate refinancing initiative.

Petro Canada Netherlands is owned by Petro Canada Holdings, itself in turn a subsidiary of Canada’s largest energy company Suncor Energy.

RBS HOARE Govett and RBC Capital Markets were the brace of firms chosen by Dana Petroleum to help it secure the £270m acquisition of Petro Canada Netherlands.

Over at Hoare Govett, the corporate broking business acquired by RBS as part of its controversial purchase of ABN Amro a few years ago, the team was led by directors Stephen Bowler and John MacGowan.

Bowler has a wealth of experience in the oil and gas and mid-cap sectors, including acting for Mouchel on its recent takeover approach from VT Group and advising on equity fundraisings by the likes of Tullow Oil, Bowleven and Northgate.

MacGowan is one of RBS Hoare Govett’s most experienced corporate brokers.

In the chair at RBC is Tim Chapman, who leads the firm’s international energy investment banking business in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Chapman started his career as an exploration geologist at Royal Dutch/Shell before joining the City, working in corporate finance at JP Morgan Chase and then CIBC World Markets as head of European oil and gas investment banking.

Joining him on the Dana Petroleum advisory beat are Joshua Critchley, RBC’s head of European equity capital markets and corporate broking, and Matthew Coakes, a director in his team. Both previously worked together at investment banking giant Goldman Sachs.