Emirates National proposes bid for rest of Dragon Oil shares

Dragon Oil’s independent committee considering the proposal

Emirates National Oil, owner of 53 per cent of Dragon, said it intends to offer 735 pence a share, a premium of 44 per cent from March 13th, the day before the talks were initially disclosed. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

Emirates National Oil, owner of 53 per cent of Dragon, said it intends to offer 735 pence a share, a premium of 44 per cent from March 13th, the day before the talks were initially disclosed. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

 

Emirates National Oil Co. proposed to buy the shares in Dragon Oil Plc it doesn’t already own, valuing the Dubai-based producer at about £3.6 billion pounds.

ENOC, owner of 53 per cent of Dragon, said it intends to offer 735 pence a share, a premium of 44 per cent from March 13th, the day before the talks were initially disclosed.

It plans to meet with Dragon Oil’s shareholders to discuss the proposal. Dragon, whose shares surged to a record high on the news, said in a separate statement that its independent committee is considering the proposal.

The oil producer said there can be no certainty that an offer will be forthcoming or what the terms of any offer might be. “ENOC believes that the proposal represents full and fair value to Dragon Oil’s shareholders and is capable of being recommended,” the company said in a statement.

“The proposal will be fully funded from ENOC’s existing cash resources.” Dragon Oil jumped as much as 8.8 per cent in London and closed 5.4 per cent higher at a record 680 pence, valuing it at £3.3 billion.

ENOC has been seeking new oil supplies. Dragon produced an average of 78,790 barrels of oil a day last year with sales of $1.09 billion. The company, which has wells in Turkmenistan and is exploring in Iraq, Algeria and Egypt, is seeking to increase that to 100,000 barrels a day by 2016.

While focused mostly on Turkmenistan, Dragon has sought to expand outside of Central Asia and last year signed a deal with Egyptian authorities to explore in the Gulf of Suez.

The company withdrew a £492 million offer for Petroceltic International Plc in December following the collapse in crude prices. “There is great uncertainty in the sector and we believe, as a long term and supportive shareholder, that Dragon Oil has achieved as much as is possible through its existing upstream strategy,”

ENOC chief executive Saif Al Falasi said in the statement. “Dragon Oil stands to benefit significantly from being part of the integrated platform that ENOC offers.”