BP facing sell-off calls
Oil giant BP is facing calls from some of its biggest shareholders to sell off up to half of its assets as part of a radical restructuring of the group, it was reported today.
Some of the firm's top 10 shareholders want the company to sell a further 30 billion US dollars worth of assets, on top of the 30 billion US dollars (£18.37 billion) worth that have already been earmarked for disposal following the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster a year ago, according to the Sunday Times.
The shareholders, who are not named, claim the group has a "once in a generation" chance to transform itself into a smaller, faster growing company.
The newspaper quotes one shareholder as saying "The company needs to be shrunk considerably to make it an interesting investment. We would like to see management dispose of much more than the 30 billion US dollars indicated.
"Recent asset sales show that there are lots of buyers for these assets out there and it's a fantastic opportunity to wind up half the company ... it's about shrinking to a size where gross investment makes a meaningful difference to bottom line."
BP has already sold 24 billion US dollars (£14.69 billion) worth of assets, including interests in the United States, North Sea, Argentina, Egypt, Venezuela, Vietnam and Colombia, to pay for a compensation fund and to cover clean up costs following the explosion at its Deepwater Horizon rig, which killed 11 workers.
But the group's share price is still a third lower than it was before the disaster that happened nearly a year ago, closing at 455.75p on Friday.
A BP spokesman said: "We are not planning to break up the company. The target of 30 billion US dollars of divestments is enough to cover the cost of the clean up of the Gulf of Mexico and the compensation fund."
Meanwhile, another major investor is understood to have written to BP raising a number of issues, including a lack of confidence in its chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg.
But BP said its chairman had the full support of the board, adding that he had just received backing from more than 92% of shareholders at its annual general meeting last week.
The AGM was a stormy affair, with BP facing protests from indigenous communities from Canada, who criticised the group's involvement in tar sands extraction in their territories, as well as those affected by last year's Gulf of Mexico disaster.
BP also remains locked in conflict with its Russian partners in joint venture TNK-BP over its plans for a £10 billion share-swap and Arctic exploration deal with Russian government-owned oil firm Rosneft.
interviewThe producer and activist, Trudie Styler, whose film 'Filth' is up for five film awards, is tapping into the industry's neglected female talent
musicBlack Sabbath have pulled off one of rock music’s great comebacks – against all odds
interviewHer estate has become the nation's glossiest food empire
theatreTheatre's hitmaker Daniel Evans on 'Oliver' and bringing 'The Full Monty' to the stage
food + drinkMichelin-starred Tom Sellers on being this year's hottest property
tvParents (and kids) rejoice! A new wave of fantastic family entertainment is here
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
food + drinkHow one grocery e-tailer is gearing up for the Yuletide rush
food + drink
travelFor broadcaster Mishal Husain, a long-haul Club Med holiday was a chance for her family to explore its sense of 'zen' and 'animation'
food + drinkFestive snacks don't have to be fiddly, says Bill Granger
Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
Nelson Mandela: 11 inspirational quotes to live your life by
Ja Rule forced to deny leaving wife for prison cell mate
The 'terrorist' and the Tories: What did Nelson Mandela really think of Margaret Thatcher?
Crash pilot who threatened Ukip leader Nigel Farage found dead
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 People will try to reduce Mandela to a lilting reggae tune about ‘love’. They will fail
- 4 Why Barcelona chose Everton to educate their latest prodigy
- 5 Back from the dead? Family Guy's Brian Griffin 'to make a comeback' after fan petition
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£80000 - £100000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Project Manag...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: A global Con...
£150 - £250 per day: Cornwallis Elt : iPhone Rollout- Blackberry Enginee...