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Fri 22 May 2015 01:15 AM

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ENOC appeals to Dragon Oil investors with 735p-a-share offer

Emirates National Oil Co goes public with offer to buy out minority shareholders of Turkmenistan-focused oil firm

ENOC appeals to Dragon Oil investors with 735p-a-share offer
(Bloomberg)

Emirates National Oil Co (ENOC) went public with an offer to buy out minority shareholders in Dragon Oil, saying talks with a committee set up by the Turkmenistan-focused oil explorer had not yet produced the endorsement it believed its "full and fair" bid warranted.

ENOC, which already owns 54 percent of Dragon Oil, had made an approach to buy the remainder on March 15, set at an undisclosed premium to Dragon's closing price of 509.5 pence on March 13.

ENOC said its latest proposal, which values Dragon Oil at 735 pence a share or 3.6 billion pounds ($5.6 billion) in total, was made to the company's independent committee, set up after ENOC made its first proposal, on May 14.

It said the offer represented a substantial increase on its opening gambit and it believed it was fit to recommend to shareholders. Dragon Oil said it had received the offer and its committee was still considering it.

"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 a statement issued shortly before Thursday's London stock market close.

"Moreover, Dragon Oil stands to benefit significantly from being part of the integrated platform that ENOC offers. To that end, we want to ensure that all of Dragon Oil's shareholders have the opportunity to evaluate the proposal on its merits."

ENOC said buying Dragon Oil would help it become a fully-integrated global oil and gas company, by adding the target's upstream operating experience.

The independent committee, which includes four of Dragon's non-executive directors, is being advised by Nomura International and Davy.

Shares in the company closed up 5.4 percent at 680p.

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