Talisman founding CEO cheers prospect of Repsol takeover

Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:03pm EDT
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By Scott Haggett

CALGARY Alberta (Reuters) - Talisman Energy Inc's founding chief executive said on Friday he hopes Repsol SA successfully acquires the Canadian company he built into an international oil player because the Spanish oil major can make the best use of Talisman's worldwide assets.

Jim Buckee, who became chief executive of Talisman when BP Plc spun off its Canadian assets in 1992 and built it into one of Canada's largest oil companies through a series of acquisitions, said that a takeover might be the best outcome for the company he ran until he retired in 2007.

"I hope it goes through with Repsol. They're a reputable world player and Talisman sure needs something .. They lost the plot somewhere," Buckee told Reuters in a telephone interview from his home in England.

Talisman, Canada's fifth-largest independent oil producer, said earlier this week it had been "approached by Repsol with regards to various transactions", pushing its shares up by more than 11 percent after touching a

52-week low of C$10.48 just before the news broke.

The Toronto-listed shares were down 0.5 percent at C$11.70 by midafternoon on Friday.

The Canadian company has long been considered a takeover target as low natural-gas prices and problems with its North Sea operations lowered profits and its share price. It is now restructuring, trimming operations and staff to cut debt and assuage disgruntled shareholders and activist investors such as Carl Icahn.

Buckee, who no longer has formal ties to the company but still owns about 200,000 Talisman shares, said it has been hampered by a series of strategic mistakes following his departure.   Continued...

Jim Buckee talks to reporters at a press conference after the company's annual general meeting in Calgary, Alberta May 9, 2007. REUTERS/Todd Korol