The chief executive of North Sea gas producer Venture Production said its shareholders were looking for significantly in excess of the 845 pence a share takeover offer made by Centrica Friday.
The feedback we have got from shareholders, both the institutional ones and the significant ones on our board, suggests that many of them are looking for significantly above 900 pence, Mike Wagstaff told Reuters in an interview on Sunday.
Friday, Britain's largest gas retailer, Centrica Plc, which owns 29 percent of Venture, offered to buy the rest of Venture for 845 pence a share, valuing the oil and gas explorer at around 1.3 billion pounds ($2.11 billion).
Venture rejected the bid, saying the offer substantially undervalued the company.
In March, Centrica bought a 22 percent stake in Venture for 725 pence a share and said it was considering making a cash offer for the company.
When Centrica took their stake in us in March, we were at the low point of the economic cycle but oil prices have risen substantially since then and the share prices of our peers have risen substantially since then too, Wagstaff said.
Centrica's offer is not an attractive one and I'm not sure that 845 pence per share offers any premium at all.
Like other utilities around Europe, Centrica is eager to increase its gas reserves to hedge its supply obligations to gas users.
Centrica has been scanning the globe to secure gas and North Sea-focused Venture would be a particularly good fit with its portfolio, analysts said.
Centrica, the UK's largest listed utility by market value, said that its offer would not be increased, unless a rival bidder emerged, in which case it reserved the right to up its offer.
We have not had anything from them which remotely resembles a proposal from prior to them launching a hostile offer. To go final as they have is very aggressive indeed, said Wagstaff.
Shares in Venture closed 3 percent lower Friday at 785 pence.
(Editing by Karen Foster)