Repsol finalising bid for Talisman - source

Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:23am EST
 
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MADRID Dec 12 (Reuters) - Spanish oil major Repsol SA is finalising a bid to acquire Canada's Talisman Energy Inc and has sent executives to Calgary to step up talks, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

The potential takeover offer, first reported by the Financial Times, could be in a range of between $6 and $8 per Talisman share, the newspaper said, a premium of up to 118 percent to their closing price of C$4.26 on Thursday.

Shares in the Calgary-based company, Canada's fifth-largest independent petroleum producer, were up 31.5 percent at C$5.60 at 1500 GMT. Shares in Repsol were down 4.2 percent at 16.49 euros.

"Repsol executives are in Canada but no offer has yet been made," the source said on condition of anonymity.

The Spanish oil firm said in November it had $10 billion or more available to buy oil and gas targets in OECD countries that offer a 7 or 8 percent investment return.

It also said it was keen to take advantage of lower U.S. shale valuations in the face of falling oil prices and eventually fill a gap left by the 2012 seizure of its Argentine business.

Talisman shares have dropped 63 percent since a peak of C$11.5 in August, when a first round of advanced talks with Repsol collapsed.

Sources then told Reuters that Talisman's North Sea assets were putting off Repsol. These projects, in Britain and Norway, have consistently missed production targets and weighed down its stock. Most are held in a joint venture with China's Sinopec , making it difficult to exit the region quickly.

A separate source recently told Reuters the two companies had renewed talks in September but they were also inconclusive. (Reporting by Carlos Ruano; Writing by Julien Toyer; Editing by David Holmes)