Goldman may break up sale of Swedish oil group: paper

By Staff Reporter

May 27, 2012 01:31 PM EDT

Goldman Sachs (GS.N) is considering selling off Swedish oil group Svenska Petroleum Exploration in chunks, the Independent on Sunday reported.

The UK newspaper said on Sunday that most potential bidders, including the UK's BP (BP.L) and Shell (RDSa.L), were not interested in the whole group, which is owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed Hussein al-Amoud.

It cited an industry source as saying that bidders, including private equity firms keen on cashing in on the growing African oil and gas market, had expressed interest in individual countries and regions.

Svenska Petroleum has offshore production and exploration fields in five west African countries, the Norwegian North Sea and Latvia, the Independent said.

The interest has prompted Goldman and Amoudi to rethink the $2 billion sale, as they are likely to gain a higher price by selling off the group in parts, and could sell the African assets together or could divide it by countries, the paper said.

The Independent also named oil giant Royal Dutch Shell as a potential bidder for the west African fields as the company as looking to grow in the continent.

BP and Shell declined to comment. Goldman Sachs and Svenska Petroleum were unavailable for comment.

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