FAROE Petroleum chief executive Graham Stewart is quitting the company with two fellow executive directors after DNO’s success in a bitter battle for control of the firm, which triggered the vesting of options awards held by the men worth around £18.6 million.

Norway’s DNO acquired a controlling interest in Aberdeen-based Faroe on Wednesday after increasing its offer to 160p per share from 152p. The increased offer valued North Sea-focused Faroe at £640m. Directors had insisted that DNO was trying to buy the firm on the cheap.

Faroe announced yesterday that Mr Stewart, chief financial officer Jonathan Cooper and chief operating officer Helge Hammer had given three months’ notice of termination of their employment with the company. The men intend to stay on until new replacement executive directors are appointed, to ensure an orderly transition, but will leave by the end of their three-month notice periods.

Faroe also announced that the takeover of the firm had triggered change of control provisions attaching to options held by the directors, with a total of 11.6 million nil cost awards vesting. The shares acquired by Mr Stewart as a result were worth around £8.5m based on the 160p offer price. The awards vesting in favour of Mr Cooper and Mr Hammer were worth £4.8m and £5.2m respectively.