Heritage Oil and Turkey's Genel agree a $6bn merger and set sights on FTSE 100

HERITAGE OIL yesterday agreed to merge with Genel Enerji, a unit of Turkey&rsquo;s Cukurova Group , to create a FTSE-100 oil producer focused on Iraqi Kurdistan worth around $5.5bn (&pound;3.3bn)<br /><br />Heritage&rsquo;s controversial founder and chief executive, ex-mercenary Tony Buckingham, is betting that years of wrangling between Baghdad and Kurdish leaders over oil revenue sharing is nearly over, which will allow Genel&rsquo;s producing fields to fund production at Heritage&rsquo;s undeveloped sites.<br /><br />Heritage said the deal, which is currently non-binding, would be structured as a takeover of Genel by Heritage.<br /><br />Heritage will pay with shares and Cukurova, controlled by one of Turkey's richest men, Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, will end up with around 50 per cent of the enlarged group.<br /><br />Shares in Heritage, which were suspended last week after the company said it was in merger talks, have tripled in value since the beginning of the year based on a big oil find in Kurdistan and positive drilling results at its Ugandan fields.<br /><br />Genel is worth around $3.3bn to $3.6bn, Heritage chief financial officer Paul Atherton said, adding he expects the enlarged group to be included in the FTSE 100. &ldquo;This acquisition can transform Heritage into being a regional player,&rdquo; he added.