Carlyle leading the bids to purchase 30 percent share in Cepsa

Private equity firm Carlyle Group is ahead of other contenders to purchase a 30 percent share in Cepsa for up to €3 billion, just four months after owner Mudabala canceled its listing, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Carlyle, which energy and natural resources division includes funds like Neptune Energy, could reach an agreement in weeks, one of the sources said.

Cepsa and Carlyle both declined to comment.

Carlyle emerging as the favorite among other contenders

Other firms like CVC, Apollo, and Macquarie also expressed an interest in buying a share in the oil company owned by the Abu Dhabi Mubadala Investment Company.

Carlyle has emerged as the favorite in this process led by Rothchild, according to sources, although an agreement has not been signed yet.

Back in October, Cepsa announced it had decided to postpone its listing, citing uncertainty in international markets.

Cepsa’s adjusted profits went down by 15 percent to €754 million last year.

Political uncertainty in Europe, U.S. political tensions, and a global economic slowdown, as well as the trade dispute between the United States and China and the sanctions against Iran and Russia, have deterred several listings over the past months.

Uncertainty affects stock exchange operations

Proceeds from global listings dropped by 86 percent to $2.6 billion in January, as compared with the same month last year, according to Refinitiv. Furthermore, in Europe they went down by 97 percent during the first two months of the year.

In the energy sector, Saudi Aramco canceled what was set to be the largest listing of the year.

On the other hand, the rise of oil prices to current $65 per barrel, from $30 recorded in 2016, and some appealing asset valuations have boosted the mergers and acquisitions from private equity firms in the energy sector.

In 2013, Carlyle launched its energy fund – Carlyle International Energy Partners (CIEP) – and has since made a number of high-level acquisitions.

In 2017, it joined CVC to purchase oil and gas assets from French firm Engie.

Carlyle’s Neptune Energy fund is currently bidding for the oil and gas assets being sold by Italian firm EDF, according to sources.

For more information, check Energía16

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