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Monday, 28 April 2014

Ophir Energy & Premier Oil in secret talks to merge?

Ophir Energy is said to have approached Premier Oil with two secret bids to create a US$5 billion combined oil exploration group, The Sunday Times reports citing an unnamed source.

Premier Oil’s board is however said to have turned down the offer as does not offer the company better strategic interest in a meeting held two weeks ago.

“A proposal was carefully considered but rejected as not a strategic fit and not in the best interests of shareholders.” The Sunday Times quotes a source.

Although neither the Scottish company nor Ophir have commented on the matter the report says that the new firm that would operate in East Africa and Asia as well as the Falklands would make the new outfit among the top 5 largest companies in London after BP, Shell, BG and Tullow Oil.

The report says the two companies could result make a statement in regards to the deal today to the FTSE following the leak of the information to the public and a reaction of the stock market with Premier’s shares rising following the news.

It is said that Ophir Energy has approached Premier since February 2014 when the latter’s CEO Simon Lockett announced its stepping down after nine years at the helm of the company saying he was “looking forward to pursuing new business opportunities.”