Dana reveals takeover talk as shares rise
OIL and gas company Dana Petroleum has received a preliminary takeover approach from an unnamed company, the firm announced yesterday.
The approach follows speculation last week that Austrian fuel group OMV was preparing to make a takeover bid, which sent share prices rocketing. Unconfirmed reports named the Korean National Oil Company as the current suitor.
A spokesperson for OMV last week denied that the company was interested in Dana. KNOC was unavailable for comment last night.
Shares in Dana closed up 3.7 per cent yesterday at £11.77, giving the firm a market value of about £1.05bn.
“The board of directors of Dana notes the recent movement in the Company’s share price and confirms that it has received a very preliminary approach which may or may not lead to an offer for the Company,” it said in a statement released to the stock market yesterday evening.
“Discussions are at a very early stage and as such there can be no certainty as to whether any offer will be forthcoming nor as to the level at which any offer might be made.”
A spokesperson for Dana would not comment on matters beyond the firm’s announcement.Dana, part of the FTSE 250, has oil and gas assets in Egypt, the North Sea and Morocco. It said last week its offshore Bamboo project in the Nile Delta had failed, but that it had struck oil in Egypt.
DIRECTOR IN CORPORATE BROKING AT RBS HOARE GOVETT
DANA’S advisers have had a lot on their plate in recent months. Stephen Bowler helped the firm take over Dutch oil group Petro Canada Netherlands in June for £270m, while colleague John Macgowan was advising industrial group BSS during its ongoing £553m takeover by Travis Perkings.
Bowler has been director of mid-cap business at RBS Hoare Govett since 1999, and 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 and Northgate. He holds a BSc in economics from the University of Exeter, where he graduated in 1995.
MacGowan is one of RBS Hoare Govett’s most experienced corporate brokers, most recently advising Bovis Homes during a £60m placing in September and Sherborne Investors in its £105m rights issue.
Corporate broker Hoare Govett was itself subject to a takeover in 2007, when RBS bought it as part of a deal to purchase holding company ABN. It acts as broker to around a dozen FTSE 100 companies and employs about 60 staff.