Utility giant Centrica has won its hostile bid for oil and gas company Venture Production, gaining control of almost 60% of Venture’s shares.

The move comes despite a strong battle by Venture CEO Mike Wagstaff to keep Venture independent.

Centrica, which is advised by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Cazenove, said it had control of 58.7% of Venture Production’s shares.

It is expected to announce unconditionally that it will buy the rest of the shares in the business for 845p a share.

The Venture acquisition will allow Centrica to boost its own reserves of gas and reduce its reliance on wholesale markets.