UPDATE 3-Ithaca buys Valiant Petroleum to boost North Sea output

Fri Mar 1, 2013 10:41am EST
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* Ithaca says to buy Valiant for 203 mln pounds

* Expects to double North Sea output forecast for 2013

* Ithaca shares down 10 pct, Valiant up 35 pct (Adds Ithaca's Toronto listed share movement)

By Karen Rebelo

March 1 (Reuters) - Ithaca Energy Inc has agreed to buy Valiant Petroleum Plc for 203 million pounds ($308.2 million) in cash and stock, in a deal that will enable it to double its 2013 production forecast from oilfields in the North Sea.

Valiant shareholders would receive 307 pence in cash and 1.33 Ithaca shares for each Valiant share, Ithaca said in a statement.

The offer represents a premium of 37 percent to Valiant's Thursday closing price on the London Stock Exchange. Valiant shares climbed toward the offer price on Friday, while Ithaca's stock fell 10 percent.

The deal will be funded by Ithaca's existing cash resources and a bridge credit facility from Banc of America Securities Ltd, BNP Paribas and The Bank of Nova Scotia.

Smaller oil producers and explorers in the North Sea are consolidating in a drive to revive flagging output in British waters.   Continued...