Emerald Energy gets takeover approach

EMERALD ENERGY, the oil and gas explorer, became the latest company in the energy sector to receive a takeover approach yesterday, but refused to give the identity of the would-be buyer.<br /><br />The group, which has assets in Syria, Colombia and Peru, said talks on the potential cash offer are at an early stage, but would not comment on the price.<br /><br />But the deal is thought to be being pitched at around 750p a share, valuing Emerald at nearly &pound;500m.<br /><br />It is understood that Canadian group Gran Tierra Energy could bid for the company, but Emerald also has links to Russia through big shareholders like oil investor Michael Kroupeev and state-owned energy group Soyuz-neftegaz.<br /><br />Richard Savage, an analyst at Mirabaud Securities, said Emerald&rsquo;s main asset is its 50 per cent stake in Block 26 in Syria and added that interest from parties connected to Gulfsands Petroleum, the operator of the block, cannot be ruled out.<br /><br />The oil and gas industry has seen a flurry of consolidation activity recently. Heritage Oil agreed to a $6bn merger with Turkey&rsquo;s Genel Energy, while Sinopec bought Addax Petroleum.