January 31, 2020 / 8:03 AM / 25 days ago

Africa-focused Tullow's largest investor raises stake again

Jan 31 (Reuters) - Tullow Oil’s largest investor and West African oil tycoon, Samuel Dossou-Aworet, increased his stake in the London-listed firm to 11%, raising the possibility of a takeover bid.

Dossou-Aworet, who also founded Geneva-headquartered Petrolin, raised his stake in Africa-focused oil producer Tullow for the second time this month, with the Times reporting that there would be a “lowball bid” for the company, citing one investor.

Tullow said this month that it would take a $1.5 billion writedown after cutting its long-term oil price assumptions by $10 to $65 a barrel, a downgrade to reserves in Ghana and disappointing exploration wells.

The writedown at Tullow comes after the exit of Chief Executive Officer Paul McDade in December and the scrapping of the group’s dividend after the company failed to meet production targets due to a weak performance at its assets in Ghana.

Tullow has also suffered as oil prices were volatile in 2019 on the back of global trade disputes, which have bruised some of the world’s biggest economies, and ongoing supply cuts from major oil producers. (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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