Belfast Telegraph

Mystery buyer 'acquires more than 5% of Tullow Oil'

By John Mulligan

An unknown buyer is thought to have secured control of more than 5% of Anglo-Irish exploration company Tullow Oil using derivatives that allow it to hide its identity.

Tullow Oil, with a market capitalisation of £2.6bn, owns stakes in two prized assets - the huge TEN and Jubilee oil fields off the west coast of Africa.

A filing with the stock exchange yesterday showed that JP Morgan Chase and affiliates have an interest of more than 5% in Tullow, most of it held via cash-settled equity swaps.

Analysts have repeatedly flagged Tullow as a potential takeover target.

Derivative instruments have been used by a number of firms in the past to acquire stakes in target companies without having to reveal their identity.

The disclosure by JP Morgan Chase showed that its notifiable interest had suddenly increased from well below a 3% threshold, where it would have been required to disclose the position to 5.02%.

Prior to making the disclosure to the London Stock Exchange yesterday, JP Morgan Chase had an interest in less than 1% of Tullow, led by Aidan Heavey. The bank has now revealed that it controls over 4.2% of the firm.

Belfast Telegraph