3 Min Read
* Asia oil and gas assets seen as crown jewel
* Forecast to generate $1.2 bln cash flow
* Review could lead to an IPO of Asian portfolio (Adds details on previous asset sales, options being considered)
By Denny Thomas and Saeed Azhar
HONG KONG/SINGAPORE, June 13 (Reuters) - Canada's Talisman Energy Inc is reviewing its Asian oil and gas portfolio, valued at about $4 billion, which could lead to a partial or full sale, people familiar with the matter said.
Talisman, Canada's No. 5 independent oil producer, has been slimming its operations and cutting debt in an effort to boost its share price to satisfy disgruntled and activist investors such as Carl Icahn.
The review marks a major shift in business strategy for a company that classifies its Asian portfolio as a core asset, and the review will force Talisman to make some tough choices.
It is unclear whether it will opt to sell the entire portfolio or retain some assets, the people added. A partial listing of the assets is one of the options being discussed, they added.
Talisman plans to put $2 billion worth of assets on the market in the next 12-18 months, after raising $6.6 billion through asset disposals since 2011, according the company website. The company does not disclose the names of the projects it plans to sell as part of its restructure.
Talisman owns oil and gas assets in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Asia-Pacific region is expected to generate about $1.2 billion, or nearly half, of Talisman's 2014 estimated cash flow, according to company presentations.
Talisman joins a list of other independent oil and gas producers such as Hess Corp and Newfield Exploration Co in divesting Asian assets in an effort to focus on their core home markets.
The company, which has a $10.8 billion market value, is working with Goldman Sachs on the review, the people added.
Talisman and Goldman Sachs declined to comment. Sources declined to be identified as the review is confidential. (Reporting by Denny Thomas and Saeed Azhar; Additional reporting by Mike Stone in NEW YORK; Editing by Stephen Coates)