Centrica tables bid for Venture

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Centrica is offering 845p a share cash to buy Venture in a deal that values the Scottish oil and gas producer at £1.3bn.

The hostile offer was tabled last night after Centrica, the owner of British Gas, raised its stake in Venture to 29 per cent by buying a 5.4 per cent stake in the group from 3i. The Takeover Panel had given Centrica a "put up or shut up" deadline to formalise a bid by 13 July.