BP to inform US Government of any asset or merger deals
Following speculation that BP is seeking investment from Middle East sovereign wealth funds, the US Government has demanded that the oil giant inform it of any major transactions or merger deals in advance.
It asked BP to inform US justice officials in advance of “any planned or contemplated events that may involve substantial transfers of cash or other corporate assets outside of the ordinary course of business.”
US authorities should also be informed of any “corporate restructuring, reorganisation, acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, sales, divestments or disbursements,” it demanded.
The request came in a letter from the US Department of Justice dated 23 June but BP has yet to reply to the letter, according to the BBC.
Earlier this week, BP’s shares rose after the company said it “welcomed new investors” and the Guardian reported that BP was in talks with the Kuwaiti Investment Authority with regard to raising its 1.75% stake in the company to around 10%.
On Monday, a source close to the company said that BP was now “talking to a variety of current and potential investors in the Middle East”.
BP refused to comment directly on the speculation but the oil giant has become increasingly vulnerable to a takeover following the slump in its share price.
BP’s shares have plunged more than 50% since the oil began to leak into the Gulf of Mexico following an explosion on its Deepwater Horizon rig on 20 April, which took the lives of 11 people.
The explosion led to thousands of barrels of oil leaking from the damaged well.
Two days ago, the company said total clean-up costs relating to the disaster have hit $3.12 billion (£2.05 billion) – up from $2.65 billion last week.
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