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BASF Reported to be Bidding for Dea

23.12.2013 -

BASF has declined comment on rumors it is preparing to bid for Dea, the German oil and gas exploration subsidiary energy giant RWE has put up for sale. Bids for the business must now be received in Essen, Germany, at the beginning of the week starting Jan. 13, 2014, rather than at the end of December, as initially envisaged.

If the German group receives the nod - reports say several other bidders or potential bidders, including private equity investors KKR and Blackstone, the state of Qatar, Kuwait Petroleum and Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman - are in the race - the world's largest chemical producer would add muscle to its oil and gas arm Wintershall. The business contributed overproportionately to earnings in the third quarter of 2013, despite diminished activity in Libya.

RWE is believed to be asking €5 billion for Dea, which had sales of €2 billion and EBITDA of €1billion in 2012.

In other news, Wintershall said recently it would sell "selected assets" on the UK continental shelf for $375 million to Hungarian oil and gas group Mol. The planned transaction, to be made retroactive to January 2013, includes 14 exploration licenses in the North Sea as well as the BASF subsidiary's equity stake in the Sullom Voe terminal in the Shetland islands and in the Brent Pipeline System that pipe oil to tankers at the terminal.

Wintershall said it is relinquishing the licenses to concentrate on its own exploration activities. It also signed a cooperation agreement with Mol to jointly pursue exploration and production opportunities in both the North Sea and the Middle East.

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