UPDATE 1-Talisman reviewing $4 bln Asia assets for possible sale-sources

Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:48pm EDT
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* Asia oil and gas assets seen as crown jewel

* Forecast to generate $1.2 bln cash flow

* Review could lead to an IPO of Asian portfolio (Adds details on previous asset sales, options being considered)

By Denny Thomas and Saeed Azhar

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE, June 13 (Reuters) - Canada's Talisman Energy Inc is reviewing its Asian oil and gas portfolio, valued at about $4 billion, which could lead to a partial or full sale, people familiar with the matter said.

Talisman, Canada's No. 5 independent oil producer, has been slimming its operations and cutting debt in an effort to boost its share price to satisfy disgruntled and activist investors such as Carl Icahn.

The review marks a major shift in business strategy for a company that classifies its Asian portfolio as a core asset, and the review will force Talisman to make some tough choices.

It is unclear whether it will opt to sell the entire portfolio or retain some assets, the people added. A partial listing of the assets is one of the options being discussed, they added.

Talisman plans to put $2 billion worth of assets on the market in the next 12-18 months, after raising $6.6 billion through asset disposals since 2011, according the company website. The company does not disclose the names of the projects it plans to sell as part of its restructure.   Continued...