BP CEO Hayward flies to Arab Emirates to seek bailout

BP CEO Tony Hayward has flown to Abu Dhabi today, TP reports, possibly to raise funds and secure new investors from the region as his company’s stocks continue to plummet as a result of their oil disaster:

BP’s embattled CEO flew to the wealthy emirate of Abu Dhabi to meet officials amid speculation the oil giant is looking to raise cash to cover clean up costs from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Chief Executive Tony Hayward arrived in the Emirati capital Tuesday and would be staying “a couple of days,” BP spokesman Andrew Gowers said. He would not say whether Hayward planned to sit down with the region’s powerful investment funds, which have provided needed cash to Western multinationals in past times of crisis. “He’s visiting partners as he does from time to time. He’s conducting normal business,” Gowers said.

The Financial Times writes that an “official in the Gulf familiar with BP’s discussions” said “there have been communications between the group and investors in the region since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, describing them as an ‘immunisation strategy’ as BP looks to its future.” Additionally, the Saudi paper “Al-Eqtisadiah reported Wednesday that a delegation of Saudi investors was headed to London to discuss an acquisition of up to 15 percent of BP.”

This is a Think Progress cross-post.

5 Responses to BP CEO Hayward flies to Arab Emirates to seek bailout

  1. Robert says:

    According to the BBC news this is a defensive strategy against the very real possibility of a takeover, one that is likely to happen when the leak is plugged but the stock level is still low. The strategy seems to be working because the stock price has risen some 12% over the last couple of days.

    As a “Brit” (as you Yanks love to call us) I would not wish to see such a large chunk of the UK economy fall into the clutches of Exxon for a knockdown price. On the other hand I do fully sympathise with those directly affected in the GOM and hope they a fully compensated, if such a thing is possible.

  2. Richard Caperton says:

    Note that some financial press coverage is spinning this in a different (and mistaken) light:

    The Reuters take is that BP’s share price is booming (sort of) and they’re close to capping the well (news to me) and that this interest from Abu Dhabi is a sign of a company on the rebound (uh, no…Abu Dhabi is a buyer of last resort in this case).

  3. mike roddy says:

    I wonder what would happen if the sheiks from Saudi Arabia and UAE woke up one day to find their $40 billion stake in BP was worthless? This could happen if the courts do their jobs, and make realistic evaluations of the damage caused by the eruption.

    That chain of events could get very interesting.

  4. Mark says:

    looking for new corporate headquarters?

    didn’t haliburton and it’s ceo move their headquarters and residence to Kuwait?

  5. Robert says:

    Richard Caperton

    I didn’t see anything in the Reuters piece that diverges significantly from what I have read elsewhere. One of the best resources for understanding the Deepwater spill and oil drilling generally is this:

    Drilling the relief well, intercepting the original well and successfully completing it is a highly technical process and there is some risk that it will fail. Although they are basically there the last part of the operation is very tricky and is going to take some weeks.