A report that Occidental Petroleum’s corporate jet traveled to the Hague, one of Shell’s two home towns, has sparked a fresh flare-up of speculation regarding its proposed acquisition of Anadarko, CNBC reports, citing an unnamed source.
CNBC notes that sightings of Oxy’s Gulfstream V in Omaha gave rise to rumors about a possible involvement of Warren Buffett in the deal, which later got their confirmation when Buffett said he was willing to bankroll the Anadarko acquisition if Occidental managed to get a final yes from the target company. The Sage from Omaha has committed US$10 billion to the deal, which is worth a total US$38 billion.
The trip of Oxy’s corporate jet was first reported by Bloomberg, which has evidently been tracking the movements of the aircraft amid the bidding war between Oxy and Chevron, which last month offered to buy Anadarko for US$33 billion. Earlier this month, Bloomberg said the Gulfstream V had flown to Paris, where Total is headquartered.
Shell and Anadarko, CNBC recalls, have shared assets in the Permian, where Occidental is the top player and Anadarko is among the largest competitors. The acquisition of the latter will establish Occidental as an undisputed leader in a space that supermajors have been eager to tap as well, with all but one expanding their assets there and planning ambitious drilling campaigns. The lone exception is Total, which has no shale acreage at all in the United States, which would make the Oxy jet’s trip to Paris all the more intriguing if, of course, it was made with the intention of meeting with Total at all.
The latest update in the bidding war between occidental and Chevron was in favor of Oxy: Anadarko’s board of directors said its offer was “superior” after the bidder raised the portion of cash in its offer to as much as 80 percent from an initial 25 percent that was later raised to 50 percent.