BP shares rise after reports UAE oil company had pondered takeover

12 April 2024, 11:34

Garage petrol rices
Abu Dhabi pondered bid for BP. Picture: PA

Reuters reported that the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company had evaluated, but ruled out, making a bid for BP.

Shares in BP jumped on Friday after reports that the state-owned, United Arab Emirates oil company was considering, but had ruled out, a bid for the London-listed energy firm

BP’s shares had gained about 3.1% by mid-morning on Friday, in a day where other companies also fared well as the FTSE 100 pushed close to an all-time high. BP’s rival, Shell, also rose 2.1%.

Reuters reported on Thursday evening that the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) had decided that ultimately BP was not the right fit and would not match its strategy.

The news agency cited three sources. BP declined to comment to the PA news agency while Adnoc did not immediately respond. Neither company sent a comment to Reuters.

Sources told Reuters that Adnoc and BP had spoken directly in recent months and the UAE oil company had spoken to investment banks about a potential deal.

Many UK companies have been the target of takeovers in recent months, as foreign investors see them as undervalued. Others have chosen to abandon London, or split their listing between London and other markets.

At the moment, two companies are in the running to buy DS Smith, the London-listed packaging giant, for more than £5 billion.

Flutter Entertainment, the gambling company behind Paddy Power and Betfair, is meanwhile planning to move its primary listing to the US. Its market value is more than £27 billion.

BP’s share price has been for years underperforming some of its international rivals, leaving the company potentially vulnerable to a takeover approach from one of its rivals.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, companies in the oil and gas sector spent more on mergers and acquisitions last year than at any point since 2012.

This included ExxonMobil’s acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources for 64.5 billion US dollars (£51.6 billion) and Chevron’s 60 billion dollar (£48 billion) takeover of Hess.

For BP the last year has been somewhat turbulent. In January, former finance boss Murray Auchincloss took over as chief executive from Bernard Looney, who stepped down after the board said it had been misled about Mr Looney’s past relationships with colleagues.

By Press Association