Bloomberg News

Afren Rises Most in a Month Amid Takeover Speculation

July 10, 2012

Afren Plc (AFR), a U.K.-based oil and gas company focused on Nigeria and Iraq, rose the most in a month in London trading on speculation it may get a takeover offer.

Afren jumped 9.1 percent to close at 114.3 pence. That’s the biggest one-day gain since June 6 and the most among companies on the FTSE All-Share Index. The stock has risen 33 percent this year, valuing the company at 1.2 billion pounds ($1.9 billion).

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM:US) and Eni SpA (ENI) are examining possible bids for Afren, the U.K.’s Daily Mail said yesterday. Either one could offer at least 200 pence a share, the newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.

Afren could be a potential target, Andrew Whittock, a London-based analyst at Liberum Capital Ltd., said by phone. Some companies may be put off by the operating environment in Nigeria and Iraq, where Afren is operating in the northern Kurdistan region, he said.

An official at Eni, who asked not to be identified citing company policy, declined to comment. Patrick McGinn, a spokesman for Exxon, also declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at egismatullin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net


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Companies Mentioned

  • XOM
    (Exxon Mobil Corp)
    • $97.08 USD
    • -0.35
    • -0.36%
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