SHARE

Norwegian oil firm DNO has extended its cash offer for Faroe Petroleum amid a bitter dispute over the companys valuation.

DNO will extend its offer of 152p per share after Faroe yesterday resisted the hostile bid, which it said “substantially undervalues” the business.

The company today increased its holding in Faroe to 30 per cent, meaning the 152p bid is now a mandatory offer, and extended the deadline to 18 January.

DNO has received acceptances from 13 per cent of shareholders. The combined 43 per cent acceptance is lower than the 57.5 per cent required for the deal to go through.

The Norwegian firm says the 152p per share price tag, which values the company at roughly £608m, is a 21 per cent premium on Faroes share price when it first made the offer in November.

But Faroe yesterday released a report from Gaffney, Cline & Associates (GCA) placing the companys value between $879m and $1.08bn (£700m and £860), indicating an offer price of between 186p and 225p per share.

DNO today hit back at the claim, saying it was maintaining its price “notwithstanding the significant deterioration in oil and equity markets and a steady stream of disappointing exploration news from Faroe.”

DNO executive chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said: “Even if DNO's offer lapses or is allowed to lapse, DNO is not going away. For too long shareholders have given the Faroe board of directors a free pass.”

In a statement Faroe said: “The board is concerned at DNOs increasing attacks on Faroes outstanding exploration track record and its implied criticism of our technical team which boasts one of the best exploration track records on the NCS [Norwegian continental shelf].

“In fact, DNOs statement that it is not going away demonstrates the attractiveness of Faroe to DNO. As such, Faroe would solve DNOs strategic challenges and shareholders should receive an appropriate premium which is not currently reflected in DNOs offer.”