The Monaco-based energy company looking to take control of New Zealand Oil and Gas has increased its offer by a cent and won the backing of the target company's directors.
OG Oil & Gas has upped its offer to 78 cents a share, and within the range of an independent valuation report.
It already owns just under 5 percent of NZ Oil and Gas and said it would look to buy up to another 67.5 percent, although it has indicated it is willing to settle for something over 50 percent.
The improved offer is being recommended by NZ Oil and Gas's independent directors, who said OG's ideas for the company matched their own view of the future.
"I am confident that with OGOG's backing we will see New Zealand Oil and Gas invest in exciting new opportunities for growth," NZ Oil and Gas chairman Rodger Finlay said.
OG, which is part of the Monaco based Ofer group, has said it wants to combine its expertise in energy infrastructure with NZ Oil and Gas's exploration and production.
NZ Oil and Gas owns a small slice of the Kupe field and has a stake in an Australian company, Cue Energy. After selling most of its assets in the past two years and cutting costs, the company has about $90m to spend on new investments.
OG has suggested it might join NZ Oil and Gas in looking at buying some assets from Shell, which is largely quitting this country.
There's no sign that Australian-owned Zeta Energy plans to increase its 72 cents a share for just over 50 percent of NZ Oil and Gas.