Business World

Friday 23 February 2018

And the rumour is. . . Statoil in for Tullow?

THE big murmur in trading rooms last week was that Norwegian oil giant Statoil was thinking of throwing the leg over Aidan Heavey's Tullow Oil.

Statoil is said to be studying a number of targets, including Tullow. The Norwegian giant is under pressure to expand overseas and dilute the government's 67 per cent stake.

It wouldn't be the first time that a big oil major had looked at Tullow, which is the largest owner of exploration acreage in Africa. While Tullow's recent drilling exploits have been pretty grim, it did discover two of the biggest oil fields in recent history.

Shares in Tullow have ticked up after an utterly miserable two years, which saw them half in value. Heavey owns 6.4 million shares worth around €65m. He's also got a giant bundle of over 1.7 million bonus-pot shares, which may kick in if he hits targets.

Heavey has some expensive tastes. He's a confirmed "petrol head", and used to drive a Lamborghini jeep. There's also David Cameron's Conservative party. Heavey has been a chunky donor, handing over €68,000 to central party and his local Surrey Heath constituency offices.

The former Aer Lingus accountant is anything but grey. But, he's nowhere near as glamourous as his wife Lorraine, who had a top-10 Irish single with Peaceful Paradise in 1990. A €10bn takeover battle at such a low share price may leave Heavey feeling anything but peaceful.

Irish Independent

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