MPI Jumps as Maurel Lifts Takeover Bid Before Shareholders Vote

  • Maurel offers 1 share in exchange for 1.5 MPI shares
  • Maurel and MPI shareholders to vote on deal at Dec. 17 AGMs

MPI climbed the most in more than three months after Etablissements Maurel & Prom SA raised its takeover offer for the Paris-based oil company for a second time.

Maurel is offering one of its shares for every 1.5 MPI shares after the payment of an extraordinary dividend of 0.45 euro ($0.50) a share to MPI investors, the Paris-based company said Tuesday in a statement. Maurel previously offered four of its shares for every seven of MPI.

Maurel sweetened its offer two days before shareholders of both companies vote on the proposed deal, saying the higher bid reflected the continued decline in oil prices and “the divergent trend” in the price of the two companies’ stock. Minority MPI shareholder Ledbury Capital Partners LLP said the earlier bid was insufficient.

Jean-Francois Henin, who owns 24.9 percent of MPI and 23.7 percent of Maurel and is chairman of both businesses, said in August he wanted to merge with MPI to lower costs and taxes as slumping oil prices hurt revenue and profit. The combined entity would rebuild its capacity to pay dividends on cash flows from operations in Gabon, Tanzania and Nigeria, Maurel has said.

MPI rose as much as 8.2 percent and was up 6.8 percent at 2.21 euros as of 12:32 p.m. in Paris, while Maurel shares climbed 0.4 percent to 2.67 euros, paring this year’s drop to 65 percent.

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