London’s Evening Standard newspaper is reporting that Exxon is looking at a takeover bid for British Petroleum. Exxon and BP are the first and seventh largest oil companies in the world as measured by market value. BP shares are up 3.5% on the news.
Takeover chatter surrounding BP resurfaced on a quiet day for blue-chip stocks.
The rumour is that US behemoth ExxonMobil, which has long been linked with a tilt for the British oil giant, has sounded out BP’s major shareholders to gauge their interest in a potential takeover.Exxon and BP have several top shareholders in common, including BlackRock and Vanguard.
The word is BP is thought to be concerned that it might be vulnerable to an offer north of 600p, worth nearly £120 billion.
A successful deal would be the biggest oil takeover of all time. A takeover move would also probably face opposition from the Government, a fact not lost on Shell, which is supposedly ready to swoop in with a bid of its own to save the day and keep BP on British soil if Exxon makes an approach.
Other interested parties are said to include Chevron, another name frequently linked with a bid.
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Jeremy Jones, CFA
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