ENOC hires proxy firm to win over Dragon investors

LONDON Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:28pm GMT

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LONDON Nov 18 (Reuters) - Shareholder consultancy Georgeson is working to persuade minority investors in Turkmenistan-focused oil explorer Dragon Oil (DGO.I) (DGO.L) to accept ENOC's $1.9 billion buyout bid, people familiar with the matter said.

ENOC's proposal requires approval from three-quarters of Dragon's minority shareholders, but with the largest of those publicly opposing the deal, ensuring a high turnout and convincing wavering investors to agree could be crucial.

Georgeson is a so-called "proxy solicitation" firm that communicates with shareholders and looks to boost investor turnout for votes. The firm was appointed on ENOC's behalf by the Dubai refiner's broker, Goodbody, one of the people said.

ENOC, or Emirates National Oil Co, agreed with Dragon's board on Nov. 2 that it would buy the 48 percent it did not already own of Dragon for 455 pence a share.

However, Dragon's largest minority shareholder, 4.24 percent holder Baillie Gifford & Co, said the proposal "materially understates" Dragon's value. Dragon said on Tuesday ENOC's offer was final.

Dragon Oil and ENOC declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for Computershare (CPU.AX), Georgeson's parent company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shares in Dragon closed at 421-1/2 pence, up 2.4 percent on the day, but more than 7 percent below ENOC's bid. (Reporting by Quentin Webb; Editing by David Holmes) (Visit the Reuters DealZone blog here)

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