The Korea National Oil Corporation has won permission from all the necessary national regulators for its attempted £1.87bn hostile takeover of Dana Petroleum.
The Korean company urged shareholders to start accepting its £18-per-share offer after clearing a regulatory hurdle in Norway and finding no permission was necessary in Egypt.
The deadline for acceptances is September 23, but the results of Dana’s Anne-Marie exploration well, which could influence shareholders, are likely to be published before then.
KNOC already has letters of intent from 49pc of shareholders saying they will accept the offer.
These include Schroders, the largest shareholder, JP Morgan Asset Management and Blackrock, which account for 21pc of Dana’s equity.
It also has the support of a band of arbitrage hedge funds and their sponsors, comprising 27pc of the equity – including Eton Park, Jabre Capital, Davidson Kempner European Partners, Tyrus, Pentwater, Arrowgrass and Westchester, among others No counter-bidder has materialised, despite Dana’s argument that the North Sea explorer is worth around £21 per share.
Yesterday, Dana’s share price hovered just below the offer price at £17.87, as the deal looked increasingly likely to go ahead.
Dana has underperformed its exploration and production peers over the past 12 months, but some City analysts have argued that its exploration potential has been undervalued.
The oil company has been releasing a stream of news about small drilling successes since KNOC’s bid in early June and it has high hopes for its Papyrus well in Egypt. However, two of its biggest potential discoveries have turned up dry in recent months. KNOC is trying to raise its oil output from its current 125,000 barrels a day production to 300,000.