Energy offer

North Sea player Serica rejects £1bn Kistos bid

Serica produces 5% of UK gas (pic: Serica Energy)

North Sea oil and gas independent Serica Energy has rejected a £1.04 billion ($1.23bn) takeover bid from smaller rival Kistos.

The suitor’s cash-and-stock offer of 382p per share represented a 25% premium to Serica’s closing price on 11 July. The offer included 0.2932 new Kistos shares and 246p cash for each share in Serica.

Kistos said it considers that the tie-up would position the combined company as a market consolidator, with an optimised balance sheet.

It said in a statement: “While Serica has stated that its board ‘can see industrial logic in combining the portfolios of the two companies’, the proposed combination has been rejected by the board of Serica.”

Kistos is urging Serica shareholders to encourage the board of Serica to engage in constructive discussions with the board of Kistos regarding the proposed combination.

Serica said the proposed offer is on the same terms as those outlined in a possible non-binding offer made by Kistos on 24 May that was rejected by the Serica board on 1 June .

It made its own counter offer on 1 July with a cash-and-stock proposal of 483p per Kistos share, which was rejected by the investment company’s board last Friday.

Serica said it is now “considering its position” and advised shareholders to take no action.

Formed in 2004 and headquartered in London, Serica produces roughly 5% of the UK’s gas supplies.

Its shares, which fell after the windfall tax announcement, closed 14.1% or 43p higher at 348p. Kistos shares also jumped 5.2%, or 24p, to 487p after news of the negotiations became public.

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