Lasmo buys Monument in pounds 544m share deal

LASMO IS to buy Monument Oil & Gas in a pounds 544m agreed takeover, creating the biggest independent oil exploration group in the sector.

The all-share deal, the latest in a series of oil industry mergers, will trigger a pounds 500,000 pay-off for Tim Eggar, the former Conservative energy minister, who has been chief executive of Monument for 14 months.

Monument's founder and chairman, Tony Craven Walker, is not joining the enlarged group but will convert his 3 per cent holding in Monument into a 1 per cent stake in Lasmo, worth pounds 15.5m. Mr Eggar will become a non- executive director of Lasmo.

The Belgian group Electrafina, which owns 26 per cent of Monument, has given irrevocable undertakings to accept the bid even if a competing offer emerges, making it unlikely that a bid battle will develop.

The takeover comes just a month after Lasmo called off talks on a pounds 3bn merger with Enterprise Oil.

Monument in effect put itself up for sale in March after deciding that it could not develop its oil and gas assets on its own in areas such as the Caspian and Pakistan.

But Joe Darby, the chief executive of Lasmo, denied that he had approached Monument until after the talks with Enterprise had ended.

Monument shareholders are being offered three Lasmo shares for every seven Monument shares they hold, valuing Monument shares at 62p at last night's closing price - a 23 per cent premium to last Friday's close. Lasmo shares fell 9 per cent to 145p.

The combined group will have proven and probable reserves of 1.25bn barrels of oil, daily production of 260,000 to 300,000 barrels and a 45 per cent stake in the Liverpool Bay gas field. The two companies also have overlapping interests in the North Sea, Pakistan, the Caspian and North Africa. Mr Darby forecast initial cost savings of pounds 6m-pounds 7m and total savings, including reduced taxes, of pounds 70m-pounds 100m over three years.

Monument's head office will be closed down but Mr Darby said he did not foresee large scale job losses among its 120 staff. It is not clear yet how many of Monument's executive directors will be retained but Mr Craven Walker said that there would be a role in Lasmo for Terry Adams, Monument's regional director for the Caspian.

The other four executive directors are entitled to pay-offs of around pounds 300,000 each and will make total profits of about pounds 870,000 on their share options. In addition, Liz Airey, Monument's finance director owns 4.8m shares worth pounds 3m.

Outlook, page 15

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory