Boost for KNOC in Dana bid

South Korea's national oil company has secured control of one of the UK's biggest oil and gas explorers after a £1.87bn takeover offer.

Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) said its hostile bid for Aberdeen-based Dana Petroleum had won support from holders of 64.3 per cent of Dana's shares.

The announcement comes a day after the Office of Fair Trading gave its backing for the deal. KNOC will be able to take the company private if it gets acceptances from those holding 75 per cent of shares.

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Dana's board opposed KNOC's offer and said it undervalued the company and its prospects but the Korean firm tabled its offer directly to Dana shareholders without increasing the bid price of 1800p a share.

More than three-quarters of Dana's production portfolio is based in the North Sea. The firm has made recent finds in the Blackbird field in the North Sea as well as in Egypt since KNOC's interest emerged, while it also has an ongoing drilling programme off the Faroe Islands.

KNOC's interest in Dana is part of a drive to snap up foreign energy resources and secure South Korea's future energy supplies, as well as to compete with the national oil companies of China and India.