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KNOC sticks to $2.6bn Dana bid

London, August 24, 2010

State-run Korea National Oil Corporation ruled out raising its $2.6 billion hostile bid for Dana Petroleum after winning the backing of half the UK oil explorer's shareholders but needs more deals to reach its output goals.

South Korea has given the oil company a $6.5 billion warchest this year to compete with energy-hungry Asian state firms in a race to secure supplies and to cut Asia's No.4 economy's almost total dependence on imported oil.

KNOC chief executive Kang Young-won said they would not consider raising the bid to win approval from Dana's board, a stance the company later reiterated in a statement.

'We believe our offer values Dana fairly and fully and have no plan to consider raising it,' Kang told Reuters on the sidelines of a forum of Asian state oil companies in Seoul.

The Dana deal, if completed, will boost KNOC's production by 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) and move it a step closer to meeting its target of 300,000 bpd by 2012 but still leaves it short of 120,000 bpd.

Analysts say it will likely meet this gap with a dual strategy of developing new fields and acquisitions.

'You need to compare the valuation between developing oilfields and M&A activities, and the valuation of M&A activity is much more attractive given low share prices,' Sean Hwang, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.

'KNOC would continue to expand by acquiring companies which own oilfields or have skills for oil development.'

KNOC's chief executive is not giving anything away.

Kang, best known for hitting the jackpot with a $5.6 billion Myanmar gas development deal for Daewoo International while serving as chief executive there, said his focus remained on Aberdeen-based Dana.

'We are looking worldwide for acquisitions but at the moment my focus is really on pulling this Dana deal through,' he said.

KNOC launched a hostile 1,800 pence a share offer, worth 1.67 billion pounds ($2.6 billion), on Friday after it failed to convince Dana's board of its takeover proposal.

The company is seeking the backing of 90 per cent of Dana shareholders to make a compulsory acquisition of the remaining shares. It is also buying out Dana's convertible bondholders to give a total deal value of 1.87 billion pounds.-Reuters




Tags: Dana Petroleum | Korea National Oil Corporation |

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