Elf betters Norsk Hydro's bid for Saga

Elf Aquitaine SA has joined the fight to take over Saga Petroleum AS, Oslo, after Norsk Hydro AS and Norwegian state firm Statoil AS reached an agreement clearing the way for Hydro's own bid. Elf sees itself as riding to the rescue of Saga in the guise of a "white knight," having being invited to join the fray by Saga's management to prevent Hydro and Statoil splitting the independent between them. On May 28, Elf announced a surprise cash offer for Saga at 115 kroner/share ($14.60/share), said to represent a 35% premium over the Saga share closing price on May 7. The offer was also said to be 8% higher than Hydro's paper-only bid announced on May 10, which val...

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