Buyers pile in to Tullow Oil amid takeover speculation and rumours of big find in Africa
By Geoff Foster
Africa-focused exploration and production group Tullow Oil was the talk of the town as its shares raced away to touch 1,405p before closing 31p higher at 1,396p.
In demand recently after confirming another oil find in Kenya, buyers piled in on Thursday amid revived takeover speculation.
With many dealers convinced that a multi-billion pound Footsie bid will give the market a big lift before Christmas, Tullow joined the City’s growing list of possible targets.
Tullow’s chief executive Aiden Heavey would be happy if a bidder pounces or not. His stake in the group is already worth more than £90million.
Fuelling the persistent buying was gossip that State controlled PTT Exploration, Thailand’s biggest gas and oil group by market capitalisation, which bought Cove Energy for £1.9billion, and ‘friends’ are looking at a possible break-up of Tullow at £20-plus a share.
Adding to the excitement was industry gossip that Tullow would soon roll out another ‘massive’ find in Africa.
Broker WH Ireland is a big fan of Tullow and rates it as a prolifically successful explorer, achieving an average success rate of 80pc over the last four years. With exciting prospects in French Guiana and Kenya, the group is now aiming to open up whole new basins and thus transform Tullow into a global player.
BG Group, often mentioned as a takeover target, advanced 13p more to 1073p as talk of a bid from Brazil’s Petrobas continued to do the rounds.