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ADNOC Considered Buying Oil Giant BP

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has recently weighed buying BP, but talks didn’t go far and ultimately the state firm of the United Arab Emirates decided not to pursue a takeover of the UK supermajor, sources with knowledge of the discussions have told Reuters.

ADNOC has recently held preliminary talks with BP and has contacted investment banks for advice on a potential takeover, according to two of Reuters’ sources.

The reported approach by ADNOC comes as the U.S. oil and gas industry is undergoing a major consolidation, with many multi-billion deals announced in America in recent months.

The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) wave hasn’t reached Europe yet, although analysts have said that BP could be a target of a potential takeover by a rival.

BP’s stock suffered early this decade when the company announced its net-zero strategy. In early 2023, investors cheered BP’s reversal of some goals and its commitment to invest more in resilient oil and gas projects than previously planned and pump more hydrocarbons for longer to meet the world’s needs.

BP said in February 2023 it would be producing more oil and gas for longer and increase investment into oil and gas projects by an average of up to $1 billion a year until 2030.

For the European majors, the focus “is to narrow and even close the structural valuation gap to their premium-rated US peers,” Wood Mackenzie’s analysts said in the wake of the Exxon and Chevron announcements of mega all-stock mergers.
In ADNOC’s pursuit of a takeover target, BP was one of the companies the UAE firm has looked at, one of Reuters’ sources said.

There were some direct talks between ADNOC and BP but “It didn't go far,” the source told Reuters.

BP and ADNOC have been partnering on projects for more than five decades. The most recent collaboration was the creation of a natural gas joint venture in Egypt.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for