Chemicals maker BASF prepares bid for RWE's oil and gas exploration and production unit

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Dec 19, 2013 06:59 AM EST

German chemical company BASF SE is reportedly preparing a bid for RWE DEA AG. DEA is German electric utilities company RWE AG's oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) unit. 

Reuters, citing a report by German news daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, said that BASF's mergers and acquisitions department is working on an offer worth several billions of euros.

RWE in March said that it planned to divest DEA, which accounted for about 11% of its operating profit last year. The utilities firm added that a sale was not expected before next year. At the time, Wintershall had officially expressed interest in the asset. Wintershall is BASF's oil and gas unit, the report said.

Sources familiar with the matter have said that a deadline for initial bids for DEA was now mid-January, after previously targeting end-December, wrote Reuters.

Several sources told Reuters last month that Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman had teamed up with other investors to bid for DEA. Aside from Fridman, other interested parties in DEA are Qatar, private equity firms KKR & Co. and Blackstone Group, and Kuwait Petroleum Corp. 

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