Cazenove: BP could get bid from Exxon

BP’S FUTURE came under question yesterday after JP Morgan Cazenove suggested the embattled oil major should be taken over by rival Exxon Mobil.

JP Morgan analyst Fred Lucas said yesterday that US based Exxon Mobil should move in to make an £88bn bid. Exxon is the most financially strong oil company, he said, adding that it could make a cash and stock offer while spinning off $50bn (£33bn) of refining and marketing assets, resulting in an estimated 473p per share offer price.

Roughly $105bn has been wiped off of BP’s market value since the 20 April explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig prompting speculation in the market over whether BP could be vulnerable to a takeover.

BP has already instructed Goldman Sachs and Blackstone to defend against any possible hostile takeover bids.

Lucas said BP’s business would fit well with Exxon Mobil, or even rivals Royal Dutch Shell, because of similar business structures.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that Anadarko, the US partner to BP in the Macondo well, knew of design choices that US lawmakers have criticised. Anadarko, which owns 25 per cent of the well, has distanced itself from the spill and said it was preventable but had been caused by BP’s “reckless” actions.