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Dragon to delist from Irish exchange after €5.5bn ENOC buyout


An ENOC oil plant in the United Arab Emirates. Photo: Bloomberg

An ENOC oil plant in the United Arab Emirates. Photo: Bloomberg

An ENOC oil plant in the United Arab Emirates. Photo: Bloomberg

Emirates National Oil Co (ENOC) will delist Irish-listed oil and gas explorer Dragon Oil from the London and Irish stock exchanges after successfully completing its takeover of the company.

ENOC, which owns 54pc of Dragon, offered 750 pence per share to buy out minority shareholders of the firm in June. ENOC then raised its bid for the company to 800 pence after bowing to pressure from some shareholders who argued that the offer price was too low.

The new bid valued the Turkmenistan-focused explorer at around £3.9bn (€5.5bn).

Although it said that its offer would remain open to shareholders until 3pm on August 28, ENOC said yesterday that its offer has been accepted by 24pc of Dragon's total share capital, or 51.5pc of outstanding shareholders. There is also a further 9.6pc of "intended acceptances".

As ENOC needed a majority of Dragon's minority shareholders to agree to sell for the deal to go through under Irish takeover rules, ENOC will now be able to delist the company.

A spokeswoman for the Irish Stock Exchange said the delisting is not "something that the exchange is concerned with".

"Companies get taken over from time to time, it is part of the normal course of business and it is no surprise," she said.

ENOC said it "has requested and directed Dragon Oil to commence the delisting process of Dragon Oil immediately.

"Pursuant to the listing rules of the Irish Stock Exchange, Dragon Oil announces that the delisting notice period has now commenced and it is anticipated that delisting will take effect from 8am on September 7.

"Consequently, the last day of trading of Dragon Oil Shares on the Irish Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange would be September 4, 2015."

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The delisting notice also coincided with the announcement of Dragon's second-quarter results which saw revenue fall by 18pc to $449m compared to $547m in the same period last year as it was hit by the sharp international fall in oil prices.

Profits also dropped by 52pc from $289m to $139m even though production rose to 92,060 barrels of oil per day (bopd) compared to 73,440 bopd per day in 2014.

Dragon chief executive Dr Abdul Jaleel Al Khalifa said: "Gross production has increased compared to the level in 1H 2014 on the back of strong initial flow rates from new development wells, additional perforations in certain existing wells and the application of jet pumping systems.

He added: "The significant decline in crude oil prices is reflected in the financial results."

ENOC first approached Dragon about a possible acquisition of the stake it didn't already own in March, when it put forward a possible offer of 650 pence a share before making a revised possible offer of 735 pence per share in May.

ENOC increased its offer again to 750 pence per share in June.

However, this received strong criticism from a number of dragon's largest minority shareholders such as UK investment management firm Baillie Gifford, and Ireland-based Setanta Asset Management, who said that the offer undervalued the oil producer.

After calling for Dragon to scrap dividend payments to shareholders last week, a move that was described by an analyst as a "thinly veiled threat" to shareholders reluctant to sell their stake, ENOC again increased its bid to 800 pence per share.

Shares in the Dragon were broadly flat on both the London and Irish exchanges after the announcement.

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