independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Statoil acquisition rumours boost shares at Tullow Oil

Shares in Tullow Oil jumped today amid rumours that the company might be bought by Norwegain oil giant Statoil.

The shares gained more than 4pc, making them the biggest riser on the FTSE 100 in London amid the fresh speculation that a predator could be circling the company which was set up by Dubliner Adian Heavey.

Mr Heavey, a former Aer Lingus executive, stands to make at least €100m if the company he founded were taken over.

Bloomberg reported this morning that Statoil is studying overseas acquisitions and named Tullow as a "potential target on which Statoil is stepping up analysis".

The oil industry is particularly fertile ground for rumours and it is not the first time that Tullow has been named as a take-over target.

The company's shares have been on the slide for most of 2014 after a series of wells in Mozambique and Suriname failed to deliver oil in commercial quanities. These declines to four-year lows have cut Tullow’s value and which means any takeover would cost much less.

Statoil, which is due to release a new business plan next month, has said repeatedly over the past decade that it wants to acquire overseas.

The shares in Tullow were also helped higher after HSBC upgraded Tullow to “overweight”.

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