Abu Dhabi tipped to take over Heritage Oil
Sovereign investment arm believed to be planning US$1.5bn takeover
The International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), the hydrocarbons investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, has been named as a potential bidder for the UK-based oil exploration, production and development company Heritage Oil.
Sources in the UK named IPIC along with French oil company Parenco. The Times in London speculated that IPIC has the company in its sights after selling its shares in Barclays Bank recently for a profit of US$1.5 billion, roughly the same amount as what it would take to acquire Heritage.
“Heritage is a classic target for a national oil company,” an investment banker with Middle Eastern links is quoted by The Times as saying. .
Heritage released a statement yesterday about the possibility of a takeover.
“The company [Heritage Oil] confirms that it is in preliminary discussions with a third party regarding a possible merger which would be treated as a reverse takeover,” the statement said.
“No agreement has been reached between the third party and the company [Heritage Oil] and there can be no assurances that any agreement will be reached or even if reached, that any such agreement will be completed.”
Shares in Heritage Oil had risen by 10% before trading was suspended.
IPIC declined to comment.