Enterprise starts final push

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ENTERPRISE OIL'S executive team began their final push to persuade shareholders to accept their bid for Lasmo last night, writes Russell Hotten.

They were meeting Tony Dye and Colin McQueen, of Phillips & Drew Fund Management, which owns almost 16 per cent of Lasmo and 5 per cent of Enterprise.

Most analysts believe that whichever side persuades PDFM of the merits of its case will win the day, but the firm has so far given no indication of how it might vote. Lasmo is due to meet PDFM representatives tomorrow. Enterprise is this week expected to begin buying its permitted 10 per cent of Lasmo shares, though in several large deals yesterday Enterprise was not thought to be involved. Such a move would cost it up to pounds 150m.

Shares in Enterprise rose 1p to 400p and Lasmo's price fell 7p to 141p, suggesting that the market still thinks the bid may fail. Analysts from three independent brokers have recommended rejection. The bid closes on Friday.

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