Former DNO Chairman Seeks Stake to Thwart RAK Tie-Up

(Corrects second paragraph to say 12-kroner price is minimum.)

Former DNO International ASA (DNO) Chairman Berge Gerdt Larsen offered to buy as much as a third of the Norwegian oil producer’s shares in an attempt to derail a deal with RAK Petroleum PCL.

Petrolia ASA, the Norwegian oil-services company controlled by Larsen, said it offered 10 kroner a share for as much as 33.33 percent of the outstanding stock in DNO. It would then seek to realize a minimum price of 12 kroner a share.

“In order to maximize value for all DNO shareholders it is necessary for the company to be restructured, merged or potentially sold,” Oslo-based Petrolia said in a statement today.

DNO agreed in September to merge with the petroleum units of its largest shareholder in a deal valuing it at $1.64 billion, or 9.50 kroner a share, and RAK’s operating subsidiaries at $250 million. Larsen has said the merger undervalued DNO and blocked a possible higher bid from other interested parties.

Seventy-seven percent of shareholders voted in favor of DNO merging with RAK in exchange for DNO shares at an extraordinary general meeting in Oslo last week.

Petrolia said the result of the meeting had not “added any material value” for DNO shareholders.

DNO rose as much as 8 percent to 7.39 kroner and was up 4.7 percent as of 10:03 a.m. in Oslo. The stock has fallen 21 percent this year. Petrolia jumped 11 percent.

DNO was the first foreign company to begin pumping oil in Iraq since the 1970s.

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