UPDATE 2-Vitol to offer $192 mln for Sterling Resources

Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:43am EST
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* Purchase would give exposure to North Sea oil assets

* Offer amounts to around $192 million, or C$0.85/share

* Follows financial assistance to Sterling Resources

* Sterling Resources shares up 75 percent to C$0.83

By Emma Farge

GENEVA, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Top oil trading house Vitol plans to offer C$192 million ($192 million) for Canada-listed oil and gas group Sterling Resources, to gain a foothold in the North Sea oil and gas sector.

The planned deal, worth C$0.85 per Sterling share - a 79 percent premium to Tuesday's close at C$0.475, is the latest in a series of moves by Swiss firm Vitol to acquire physical energy assets.

Following the model of Glencore, many private trading houses have, in recent years, used their growing financial firepower to buy smaller rivals and increase their control of commodity supply chains.

"Vitol has held discussions with Sterling's management and, based on the company's inability to find an acceptable long-term financing solution, Vitol Anker has decided to pursue an offer for the company," Vitol said on Wednesday.   Continued...