Lasmo sale nets Enterprise Oil pounds 7.2m

MARY FAGAN

Industrial Correspondent

Enterprise Oil sold its 9.8 per cent stake in Lasmo for pounds 166.4m compared with pounds 159.2m paid for the shares in June last year, realising a profit of pounds 7.2m. The sale comes just over a year after the collapse of the pounds 1.6bn Enterprise bid for the rival exploration and production firm.

The 94.6 million shares were widely placed by SBC Warburg and Cazenove at a price of 176p per share, compared with the average 168.3p paid in June last year during the closing stages of the bid. Shares in Lasmo fell by 2p yesterday to close at 182p.

In September, Enterprise was forced to make a provision in its interim accounts of pounds 18.1m to reflect the fall in Lasmo's share price at that time to about 150p. The 1995/96 profits will be boosted by about pounds 25m as a result of the sale.

One City analyst said that the profit on the placing would at least pay for the cost of the debt taken on to buy the stake. Analysts were also speculating whether the group is now back on the acquisition trail to replace its declining production portfolio.

Enterprise has said that is it not interested in a hostile bid after the Lasmo fiasco but has not ruled out an agreed acquisition. There is some speculation that it could act as a white knight in the pounds 160m hostile by for Aran Energy, the Irish oil company, by Arco of the US. Aran has interests in the Scheihallion field West of Shetland - an oil and gas region now regarded as potentially the most exciting for UK.

A spokesman for Enterprise said yesterday: "The proceeds of the sale will be used for general corporate purposes including the group's exploration and development programme which this year is expected to exceed pounds 320m." He said that the timing of the disposal was dictated by the fact that "Lasmo's shares have been firm of late".

Lasmo welcome the sale, which has been anticipated. A spokesman said: "We see this as a very positive sign that shareholders are supportive of us. We understand the whole thing happened within minutes."

The takeover battle cost Enterprise almost pounds 6m in fees for advisors. But the bill for Lasmo was about pounds 24m, made up largely from success fees.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Guru Careers: Management Accountant

£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers