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Future of BP as independent company thrown into doubt by Shell’s takeover of BG

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By PETER CAMPBELL FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Future of BP as independent company thrown into doubt by Shell’s takeover of BG

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 00.19.50The future of BP as an independent company was thrown into doubt yesterday as analysts said BG’s takeover will prompt a wave of consolidation in the struggling sector.

Firms across the industry have been hit by the falling oil price, trimming their values and making them more vulnerable to bids.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Capital Markets, said the move ‘raises expectations as to which other companies could also come into play as the oil and gas sector gears up for further consolidation, with speculation surrounding Tullow Oil and BP’.

BP shares were at one point one of the biggest FTSE 100 risers, up 2.4 per cent, before easing to close 2.45p higher at 457.3p.

The company still faces legal woes and unknown bills concerning the fall-out from the Gulf of Mexico disaster, but remains a third of the size of US rival ExxonMobil – making it an easy acquisition target, analysts say.

But Marc Kimsey, senior trader at Accendo Markets, said BP and Shell have weathered the oil storm better than UK rivals, ‘leaving them in the position of predator rather than prey’ when it comes to deal-making.

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