Oil and gas firm Ithaca Energy said yesterday it had agreed to buy smaller rival Valiant Petroleum for £203million.
Valiant shares closed up 31% at 455.5p yesterday after Ithaca said its Aberdeen-based subsidiary, Ithaca Energy UK, would buy the business outright.
Woking-based Valiant has been for sale since September after launching a “strategic review” of the business.
It became a producer for the first time in November, when its North Sea Causeway field came on stream.
Founder and former chief executive Peter Buchanan left the company at the end of last year to put together his own bid; it is not known if he plans to improve on Ithaca’s offer.
Ithaca said that if its offer – equal to 475p a Valiant share – was approved, it would more than double its 2013 daily production forecast to up to 16,000boe.
It is unclear if the deal would have any implications for Ithaca’s 35 Aberdeen-based employees or Valiant’s 70-strong workforce, which includes four in the Granite City.