Aidan Heavey, the chief executive of Tullow Oil, says that despite the fact that analysts have eyed Tullow as red meat for a takeover, Tullow will remain its own entity.
Heavey notes that despite what the analysts may say, no one has approached Tullow regarding such a move, and that the company should keep the status quo. Said Heavey to Ireland’s Sunday Independent: “I think we are best as a stand-alone entity, we're very much an Africa-focused business, it's a very unique type of business in Africa, and I think we'll add more value to shareholders by doing what we do best, which is focusing on Africa... we're basically alone there now because most of our competitors are gone. There's a lot of talk about major oil companies buying Tullow but the last few years have caused a dent in the pocket of most of the companies. Nobody has the cash any more, and we're quite a big bite. I don't think the majors will be able to match us in relation to speed of doing things, and there will be a lot of opportunities in this new era for oil."
Heavey has plans to bring Tullow’s debt down to $4 billion in the next ten years. Tullow has a market capitalization of US$2.32 billion and a net debt of US$4.7 billion.
Tullow is set to start producing oil at its TEN project in Ghana next month. According to Heavey, much of the debt was incurred getting the TEN project off the ground, and the issue should be rectified once TEN comes online.
Tullow is also planning to sell assets in the United Kingdom, Norway and Denmark when the situation in the oil market improves. Last month, Tullow reported a $30 million profit for the first half of this year, rebounding somewhat from a $68 million loss in 2015.
Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com
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