Centurion succumbs to $1bn Dana Gas takeover

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The Independent Online

Centurion Energy, the AIM-listed Canadian oil and gas exploration company, yesterday agreed a $1.02bn takeover by Dana Gas, a privately-owned Gulf energy group.

The deal will provide Dana, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, with upstream gas assets and widens its footprint into Egypt, Tunisia and West Africa.

The offer price represents a 36 per cent premium to Centurion's valuation the day before it said it had received a takeover approach at the end of last month. The offer is also more than twice Centurion's last reported net asset value.

Centurion could prove to be the first of many such deals for the cash-rich Dana as it aims to build a significant presence in the Middle East and North African energy markets. The company said the deal would accelerate its growth strategy.

Dana was established in 2005 to pipe gas into the UAE for utilities and industrial users. However an agreement to import natural gas from Iran was delayed earlier this year and the firm has started investing in potentially high-growth exploration and production assets in regions like Pakistan and Nigeria.

The deal to acquire Centurion provides Dana with immediate production capabilities. Centurion pumps around 32,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day and expects to boost production toward 40,000 barrels by the end of the year. It also means Dana will enter a partnership with Shell, given Centurion's partnership with the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas giant in Egyptian drilling projects.