Oil barons share £52m af­ter takeover de­feat

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Front page - By Jil­lian Am­brose

THE bit­ter fall of Faroe Pe­tro­leum to a takeover at the hands of its largest share­holder will hand the North Sea oil ex­plorer’s man­age­ment over £52m, in­clud­ing a £12m wind­fall for its chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Gra­ham Ste­wart was forced last week to sur­ren­der the £647m com­pany he founded in the late nineties af­ter Nor­we­gian oil gi­ant DNO wrested con­trol. But once the preda­tor de­clares vic­tory in the com­ing days Mr Ste­wart will be free to leave with shares worth al­most £4m and to­tal share op­tions of £8.5m.

Mr Ste­wart and his board ca­pit­u­lated af­ter a nine-month bat­tle with DNO which be­gan its cam­paign to take con­trol of Faroe in spring last year by snap­ping up a quar­ter of the Aberdeen­based com­pany.

Last week it laid claim to over half of Faroe’s shares af­ter of­fer­ing share­hold­ers a price of 160p a share in cash to walk away. In to­tal the com­pany’s di- rec­tors are ex­pected to walk away with around £7.7m from their shares, and an­other £18.7m in share op­tions.

Around 88 Faroe em­ploy­ees will also claim a share through share op­tions worth £26m.

DNO’S takeover plot has cost the com­pany around £9m in ad­vi­sory fees in­clud­ing £4.5m to its bankers, £1.9m to lawyers, £850,000 to pub­lic re­la­tions han­dlers, and £50,000 to the com­pany’s ac­coun­tants.

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