GOLDMAN SACHS is understood to be preparing a defence strategy for BP in the event that a rival oil company makes a takeover approach.
The investment bank, which is a regular adviser to BP, is thought to be compiling a strategy to fend off a potential bid as takeover speculation in the market built up when BP’s shares plummeted.
Analysts suggested last week that Royal Dutch Shell would top the list of potential suitors for BP given its size and global operations.
A source close to the situation said that Goldman would be the first adviser called in to head up the takeover defence because of the deep-rooted past the two share.
It is also understood that Goldman partner Julian Metherell is the current tie that binds the two together. Metherell is a former army officer.
The news is good for Goldman’s reputation, which last month suffered as the bank found itself at the center of a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation.
Goldman, which also faces a mountain of lawsuits connected to the sale of mortgage securities, is under investigation over fraud allegations related to the subprime crisis.