Gulf Keystone plays down suggestions of sale talks

KURDISTAN-focused explorer Gulf Keystone Petroleum jumped 4.2 per cent yesterday, even after the firm played down suggestions it was in sale talks.

A Sunday newspaper reported that Gulf Keystone was looking to sell itself in a deal that could value it at up to £1.4bn and that chief executive Todd Kozel had told banks he would launch a “beauty parade” for advisers next month to help assess the firm’s strategic options.

“Whilst there is clearly increasing interest in the region in which Gulf Keystone operates, the board is not in discussions with regard to a sale of the company,” Kozel said in a statement yesterday.

“We consider the true value of the company to be significantly above any figures quoted in recent press articles.”

He added that the company had built an enviable asset base in Kurdistan.