Friday 23 June 2017

Tullow insists it's not for sale despite rumours of takeover bid

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

TULLOW Oil, the largest company listed on the Irish stock exchange, has said it is not for sale, despite rumours that it might be the subject of a takeover bid.

The company's chief financial officer, Ian Springett, told an audience in London yesterday: "It's our feeling that the company is absolutely not for sale."

He also said that most companies would like to work in partnership with Tullow. He added that Tullow was looking to extend its debt availability from the current $400m (€287m) to $500m (€359m).

Sharply

Tullow's shares rose sharply in early September amid reports that the Africa-focused explorer may be a takeover target. Some UK newspapers tipped China National Offshore Oil as a possible acquirer.

Mr Springett also confirmed Tullow won a court injunction over its disputed licences in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tullow decided to "stand up" for itself over the licences, Mr Springett told reporters after the conference.

Tullow Oil also expects the Ugandan government to rule shortly on a proposed joint venture with Total and China National Offshore Oil, he added. Fears that Tullow was running into complex legal problems with the Ugandan government have weighed on Tullow's share price for several months.

While the company has found oil in many parts of the continent, its operations in Uganda hold out the best prospect for oil production.

"We're working on the final draft of a memorandum of understanding," Mr Springett said in an interview on the sidelines of the RBC Capital markets exploration conference. (Additional reporting Bloomberg and Reuters)

Irish Independent

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