LONDON MARKET MIDDAY: Oil Stocks Gain Ground As Brent Stages Recovery

LONDON MARKET MIDDAY: Oil Stocks Gain Ground As Brent Stages Recovery

Norways DNO makes hostile offer for Faroe Petroleum

A Norwegian oil and gas company has made a hostile bid for Faroe Petroleum which values the explorer at £608 million.

DNOs 152p-a-share cash offer for the Aim-listed company is a 21 per cent premium to the share price of 125.8p at the end of last week but is below the level Faroe was trading at less than two months ago when oil prices were higher.

FTSE LIVE: UK stocks jump; Oil rallies after Fridays rout

DNO has already amassed a 28 per cent stake in April and Faroe has previously accused the company of trying to acquire it on the cheap. Faroe held a meeting of its board and advisers and urged investors to take no action.

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“We firmly believe that Faroe’s assets, the substantial part of which are Norwegian, are better placed in the bosom of DNO, Norway’s oldest independent oil and gas company, currently operating gross production of 125,000 barrels per day which compares with the 7,500 barrels of oil equivalent a day of gross production operated by Faroe.

WPP is to merge its J Walter Thompson and Wunderman agencies in an effort to simplify its business. 

In its statement, DNO described Faroe’s share price performance as “stubbornly disappointing” and said the firm’s assets would be better placed “in the bosom” of Norway’s oldest independent oil and gas company.

JWT’s customers include HSBC, Unilever, Rolex, Nestle and others, while Wunderman works with Microsoft, Investec and Danone.

“In the period between our first acquisition, triggering significant bid speculation, and this offer, the price of Brent crude has dropped 13 percent and oil and equity markets have entered a period of great uncertainty.

New York-based JWT is one of the world’s best known advertising agencies, behind the Andrex puppy ads and jingles for Toys R Us.

The value of the offer on a fully diluted basis is about £443.8m, which represents a premium of 20.8% to Faroe’s share price of £1.25 pence at the close of business on November 23.

WPP is restructuring after clients complained that with 130,000 people in 112 countries it had become too difficult to do business with. It has cut forecasts and lost major clients, sending its shares down 35 per cent in the year to date.

Bosses at the Norwegian firm said they attached great importance to retaining the “skills, knowledge and expertise” of Faroe’s operational management and employees.

Retailers like Walmart and Target have given US markets a boost today with Wall Street seeing gains after the bell on so-called Cyber Monday. 

Faroe bosses lambasted DNO for not engaging with them ahead of the “unilateral” announcement and advised shareholders to take no action.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) bemoaned challenging times and growing uncertainty today as it reported full-year losses of £30.9million and laid off 54 members of staff. 

A 12 month-period that saw England’s form decline on the pitch coincided with a £12.5million drop in income.  

Chief executive Steve Brown, who revealed plans to step down earlier this month, insisted today that the move was for his own reasons and not linked to the firms weak financial performance. 

DNO, which currently owns around 28% of Faroe, will offer £1.52 for each share. The proposal values Faroe at £607.9 million.

RFU chairman Andy Cosslett said that after seven years of revenue growth in a buoyant market, the situation is changing and market conditions have been getting tougher.

Faroe chief executive Graham Stewart subsequently said anyone was welcome to buy the company at the right price.

The competition watchdog has raised concerns over the penned $2.2billion merger between US firm PayPal and Swedish rival iZettle.

But DNO dropped its request in August, complaining about Faroes disdainful attitude to its largest shareholder.

The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) said: PayPal could face insufficient competition in the UK after acquiring its market-leading rival, as it refereed the deal for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation. 

Shares in Faroe Petroleum have soared 25 per cent today to £1.57 on news of a takeover bid by Norwegian rival DNO.

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