ENI outbids Amerada Hess for Lasmo

Italian oil giant ENI SPA Thursday agreed to pay more than �3.8 billion in cash for UK independent Lasmo PLC, besting a bid made by the US's Amerada Hess Corp. last month by around �300 million.

ENI wants to boost its global output and strengthen its North African and North Sea portfolios.

ENI is offering 200 pence in cash for each Lasmo share�equal to a total of �2.69 billion, a 12% premium on Hess's early November cash and share offer (OGJ Online, Nov. 6, 2000). The Italian company will also pick up �1.12 billion of Lasmo's debt.

Vittorio Mincato, chief executive of ENI, in a statement said, "With the acquisition of Lasmo, we will achieve our announced production target of at least 1.5 million b/d and further strengthen our position in two of ENI�s core areas: North Africa and the North Sea. We will also establish a foothold in the Asian gas market and an operating presence in Venezuela."

Lasmo Chairman Antony Hichens commented, "Today�s all cash offer from ENI unlocks even greater value for Lasmo shareholders than the Amerada Hess offer. Talks on asset disposals held earlier in the year which led to the offers for the company highlight the value of Lasmo asset portfolio and its attraction to a growth-oriented industry buyer such as ENI."

In March, ENI bought another UK independent, British-Borneo PLC, for �788 million, boosting its own proven and probable reserves by more than 260 million boe, and adding in the region of 60,000b/d to its daily production.

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