BLACKSTONE shares rose by more than 4.5 per cent yesterday as the firm came in line for a giant windfall, after energy giant Exxon Mobil agreed to buy a stake in an oil field the private equity firm jointly controls.
Exxon has snapped up a large interest in the Jubilee field in Ghana, which is run by a firm called Kosmos Energy which is controlled jointly by Blackstone and Warburg Pincus.
The sale price of the oil field interest is undisclosed.
Analysts have put widely varying valuations on the field itself – some said yesterday it could be worth over $10bn (£6.3bn), but one industry source said a figure of $4bn was more likely.
Kosmos put its 18 per cent interest in the Deepwater Tano oil field block, in which Jubilee is located, on the market earlier this year
Blackstone is known to have invested $220.1m in Kosmos in March 2004 in its fourth buyout fund BCP IV. That investment was valued at a giant $602m as at the end of 2008.
Shares of Kosmos’s partners in the oil field, UK-based explorer Tullow Oil and US-based Anadarko Petroleum, also jumped on the news amid hopes that when the sale price comes to light it will suggest the field had been previously undervalued.
“The field could be worth $6 a share to Anadarko. That’s not reflected in the share price,” said one hedge fund manager.
Anadarko shares traded up 4.8 per cent in afternoon trading, while Tullow Oil shares traded up 7.7 per cent.
The Jubilee field is one of the biggest oil discoveries in recent years and a discovery by Tullow and Anadarko off the shores of Sierra Leone last month prompted hopes of a series of major fields running across Ghana, Ivory Coast and Liberia.