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Cash-rich TAQA looking for further acquisition targets

Cash-rich TAQA  looking for  further acquisition targets
The UK arm of Abu Dhabi national energy company TAQA said yesterday it was in the market for acquisitions.

The UK arm of Abu Dhabi national energy company TAQA said yesterday it was in the market for acquisitions.

Leo Koot, managing director of TAQA Bratani, told a strategy presentation in Aberdeen that the global slowdown had brought new opportunities for cash-rich companies such as TAQA.

He would not comment, however, on whether he wanted to buy Oilexco North Sea (ONS), which went into administration last month.

TAQA is one of several oil firms which have been linked in the media with possible bids for ONS.

Administrators at Ernst and Young said earlier this week that many parties were interested in acquiring ONS and its assets.

TAQA has been quickly building up its British presence. It was only two months ago that it completed its £420million acquisition of interests in seven oil fields from Shell UK and Esso Exploration and Production (UK).

Mr Koot said: “This gave us a strong foothold in the UK.”

TAQA Bratani, which has its base at Westhill, has a capital expenditure commitment of £500million to be made over three to five years on the new assets.

The UK arm employs about 800 people directly and indirectly.

TAQA is targeting European output to reach about 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day within two years, a 50% rise. Mr Koot said: “We aim to build on our existing infrastructure hub in the North Sea, hopefully acquiring undeveloped discoveries and exploration opportunities around our infrastructure. We are in the market for corporate acquisitions or asset deals, operated and non-operated.”

He said the global slowdown had brought new opportunities for cash-rich companies like TAQA.

Mr Koot added: “Globally in 2009, we hope to form joint ventures and partnerships to target acquisitions or build projects in upstream, downstream and midstream.

“TAQA’s global vision is underpinned by a strategy that focuses on acquiring quality assets such as those in the North Sea, where we can invest to enhance them or add further value.”

TAQA was founded in 2005 and has become a global energy company with a growing asset base of about £16billion and 2,800-plus employees.

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