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A London newspaper reports that oil giant ExxonMobil is preparing to buy embattled BP.
It says ExxonMobil has approached US government officials asking if they would object to a takeover bid for BP. There are also reports that another US company is preparing to purchase.
BP's huge losses triggered by the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster has made it an acquisition target. London's Sunday Times reports that BP talked to some investors last week, seeking financial support to avoid a possible hostile takeover by other companies. Analysts believe the British government is making efforts to avoid BP being bought out by foreign companies.
The report also says that BP is in talks with US oil and gas company Apache Corporation and others to sell assets worth up to 10 billion US dollars.
BP is also issuing bonds and loans to raise money.
All these aim to help it grapple with increasing costs from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP is under enormous pressure to cap the gushing oil leak. Its shares have fallen about 40 percent since an explosion on its Deepwater Horizon rig in April triggered the disaster.
The company has already set-up a 20 billion dollar compensation account, but US investment bank, Goldman Sachs believes the BP could be forced to pay up to 70 billion dollars.
In the meantime, BP says it hopes to install a new oil containment system as soon as possible. This will help capture more oil and try and stop the leak, as planned, by the first half of August.
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