BP is pitching itself to potential strategic investors in Abu Dhabi, Qatar, and Kuwait, hoping to bolster its finances without asking for a government bailout, and to also protect it from potential M&A activity in the industry.They’ve taken a page right out of the old Barclays playbook:
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, head of IPIC and owner of Manchester City FC, was a key figure in Barclays’ £7bn capital raising exercise almost two years ago when Middle Eastern investors, including the Qatari royal family, stumped up £5.3bn of the total. A year ago IPIC sold its 11pc Barclays stake and walked away with a profit of £1.45bn.
Senior figures in Middle East financial circles said proposals linked to the strategic investment have been presented to BP. One told The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi: “BP knows there is potential support from the Middle East.”
IPIC has major stakes in 14 international oil and gas businesses and a foothold in BP would provide powerful leverage for the group. Some analysts feel BP’s $10bn asset sale might prove a more attractive proposition but there would be more than a touch of irony if the KIO ended up raising its stake. More than 13 years ago the KIO, after saving a BP share sale from disaster, was prevented from using its 21.7pc stake to mount a takeover bid.