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SKYNEWS: SHELL FACES TAKEOVER BID

SKYNEWS: SHELL FACES TAKEOVER BID: “insiders claiming French oil company Total is planning a raid.”

Posted 15 August 04

Beleaguered oil giant Shell is preparing for a takeover bid, with insiders claiming French oil company Total is planning a raid.

Shell, the Anglo/Dutch group, is worried that Total is the only firm capable of gaining regulatory approval for a buy-out.

Total’s chief executive Thierry Desmarest is understood to be keen to expand the company’s market presence through a merger or acquisition.

Total has a market cap of £68bn compared with Shell’s £94bn.

Shell bosses have previously admitted the need to boost its oil reserves.

But acquisitions have been out of the question, due to soaring oil prices resulting in a reluctance to sell by potential targets.

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