Energy Voice | Faroe boss says DNO ‘not offering the right price’ on hostile takeover bid

Faroe Petroleum’s chief executive has hit out at DNO’s hostile takeover bid, saying the Norwegian firm is “not offering the right price”.

Shareholders are weighing up an offer from the Norwegian firm, with Faroe describing the bid of £1.52 per share as “severely undervaluing” the company.

The view has been backed by analysts including Cantor Fitzgerald and Jefferies.

Faroe chief executive and founder Graham Stewart would prefer the Aberdeen-based oil explorer to remain an independent firm.

He said: “I would like that we could continue to be an independent company.  If that can’t be done then they need to pay the right price and they are definitely not offering it.

“We can’t say what that right price is, that’s entirely up to the shareholders. They have to weigh up near-term cash and retaining support of a company that is growing.

“We recognise that everything has a price at the end of the day. We have taken the view that it is an opportunistic attempt to get the company on the cheap because the oil price is low, it’s the end of the year – stuff like that.

“We have really had to make it clear because we’ve been criticised very publicly by DNO on a number of matters that are intended to damage our reputation and any suggestion of support we may have by our shareholders, on our competency, performance, etc.

“So we’ve had to correct this to provide a clear picture of the performance of the company. It’s all we can do at the end of the day, the rest is entirely up to the shareholders.”

DNO has described its offer as “full and fair” and an opportunity for shareholders to exit the “largely illiquid” company.

The Norwegian firm first took a 28% stake in Faroe back in April, and since announcing its intent to acquire the firm has been critical of the management team.

DNO recently described Faroe’s recent swap deal involving stakes in several Norwegian oilfields as further evidence of the firm’s “inability to capitalise fully on its assets”.

It also voiced concern on Faroe’s ability to deliver the flagship Brasse development on time and on budget.

Mr Stewart said he was not expecting DNO “to be as openly critical” on matters he said were “unfounded and factually inaccurate”.

He added: “We’d be got a tough enough job as it is running the company. Many firms around us aren’t doing well but we are doing really well.

“That didn’t happen by accident, it took a lot of planning and support from shareholders.

“So having something like this at a time when we’re poised to deliver growth is a massive distraction, but it doesn’t stop us running the business.”

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