Poles 'targeting' Petroceltic bid
PETROCELTIC International has declined to comment on reports that the Dublin-based exploration company is in takeover talks with Polish oil refiner PKN Orlen.
PKN Orlen said yesterday that it was in talks to buy a London-listed oil exploration and production company with interests in Tunisia. Few companies in London fit that description other than Petroceltic, which is also listed on the Dublin exchange and has been one of the best-performing stocks over the past 12 months.
"This is not a local company. Its shares are listed on the London bourse. Cost of the deal is significant -- hundreds of millions of zlotys," the 'Puls Biznesu' newspaper quoted Wieslaw Prugar, head of PKN's upstream division, as saying. "It is possible we will buy an entire company or a stake."
The Polish newspaper went on to speculate that the takeover target was Petroceltic. PKN was unavailable for comment.
Dublin-based Petroceltic has a market value of €310m. Such a takeover would be the largest takeover of an Irish company this year and would mark a further blow to the Dublin bourse, which lost several household names last year.