Korea National Oil Wins Hostile Takeover of Dana Petroleum

Sept. 24, 2010
South Korea, which must import virtually all its energy needs, has been moving more aggressively to secure stable overseas supplies.

South Korea's state-owned Korea National Oil Corp. on Sept. 24 sealed a hostile takeover of Dana Petroleum after securing 64% support from the British oil explorer's shareholders.

The news comes one month after KNOC launched a hostile bid for the group, which has operations in Europe and north Africa, for 1.87 billion pounds (US$ 2.9 billion).

Dana Petroleum, based in Aberdeen, northeastern Scotland, which serves the North Sea oil industry, has yet to issue an official response and was not immediately available for comment.

South Korea is the latest Asian power to seek foreign assets to help meet soaring domestic demand for energy.

The Korean state-owned company plans to delist Dana from the stock market once it reaches 75% and added that it will automatically buy the remaining stock once it reaches the 90% acceptance level.

The Korean firm made its first approach to Dana in July and launched its hostile offer on August 20 after the pair failed to agree on a price. British competition authorities gave the deal the green light on Sept. 23, removing a potential regulatory obstacle.

South Korea, which must import virtually all its energy needs, has been moving more aggressively to secure stable overseas supplies in the face of competition from its giant neighbor China and other emerging market countries.

KNOC acquired a 50% stake in Peru's Petro-Tech Peruana for $450 million in February 2009 and bought Canada's Harvest Energy Trust for $3.9 billion last October.

But it lost out to Chinese state firm Sinopec in the competition for Switzerland-based Addax Petroleum last year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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