Eni offers £1.7 billion for Burren Energy

Eni SPA has agreed to pay the higher price of £1.74 billion in cash for Burren Energy PLC, London, after Burren's board rejected two previous offers as too low.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Dec. 5 -- Eni SPA has agreed to pay the higher price of £1.74 billion in cash for Burren Energy PLC, London, after Burren's board rejected two previous offers as too low.

The increased price represents a 33.4% premium on the closing price of Burren's shares on Oct. 8. Burren's directors said they considered this deal to "be fair and reasonable" and plan to unanimously recommend it to the company's shareholders.

Eni Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni said Burren was an attractive acquisition because it would increase its production in the Congo. Both are partners in the M'Boundi field. "We will also gain a first foothold in Turkmenistan, a hydrocarbons rich country which has increasingly attractive growth potential," Scaroni said.

Korea National Oil Co. also has expressed an interest in Burren, raising the stakes that there may be a rival offer, but some analysts have signaled that they do not expect that to happen.

Scaroni told reporters in Venice that he expects to close the deal. "We're on the right track and there are all the conditions to make us optimistic we can bring the transaction to a positive conclusion," he said.

Burren dismissed Eni's latest offer as not reflecting the full value of its assets (OGJ Online, Nov. 26, 2007).

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

More in General Interest