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Addax jumps on speculation it may be the target of takeover
Published on: 2009-06-09
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June 8 (Bloomberg) -- Addax Petroleum Corp., the Swiss oil producer focusing on West Africa and the Middle East, rose 10 percent on speculation that it may become the target of a takeover by a Chinese national oil company.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., the country’s largest refiner, is working on a bid of as much as $8 billion for Geneva-based Addax, the South China Morning Post reported today, citing unidentified people. China National Petroleum Corp. and China National Offshore Oil Corp. are also interested in a deal with Addax, the newspaper said.

Addax, in a statement today, said that preliminary talks were under way with third parties expressing an interest in a “potential transaction” with the company. It didn’t elaborate.

“While such preliminary discussions are ongoing, no assurance can be given that a transaction will be completed,” the company said. “Addax Petroleum does not intend to make further comment unless or until there is a transaction to announce.”

All three Asian national oil companies have operations in Nigeria, and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, is a partner in one of Addax’s properties in the country, said Jamie Somerville, an analyst at Genuity Capital Markets in Calgary. Somerville, who rates Addax shares a “hold” and owns none.

Addax rose C$3.75 to C$39.75 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, where the company has its primary listing. It was the biggest one-day gain since May 8. The shares have soared 88 percent this year.

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