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Tuesday, August 11, 1998 Published at 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK

Business: The Company File

BP and Amoco in oil mega-merger

BP shares soared following the announcement

British Petroleum and US oil giant Amoco have announced plans for a $110bn (£67bn) merger that will create Britain's biggest company.

Sir John Browne, chief executive of BP Amoco: "This is a great moment in the history of BP and Amoco."
The company, to be called BP Amoco, will have its headquarters in London.

This will place it in the top three of international oil producers.

The new group confirmed that it would cut 6,000 jobs worldwide as a result of the merger.

Shares prices in BP soared after the announcement as the market welcomed news of the deal.

Shares in BP surged 15% after the news broke - helping to revive an ailing FTSE 100 index.

Peter Sutherland, co-chairman of BP Amoco: "From a consumer point of view this deal also has advantages."
BP shares were up 101.5p at 874.5p by 1310 GMT while Amoco traded at $46, up from a Monday close of 40-7/8.

The merged company will be held 60% by BP shareholders with the remaining 40% held by Amoco shareholders.

Click here to find out more about the two companies' history
The BP story: From Anglo-Persian Oil to BP Amoco

The junior partner: Ambitious Amoco

In the proposed deal, Amoco shareholders will get a 25% premium above BP's current market value.

Larry Fuller, co-chairman of BP Amoco: "Today I am both proud and excited to see the creation of BP Amoco."
The new company will be run by BP chief executive Sir John Browne and co-chaired by BP chairman Peter Sutherland and Amoco chairman Larry Fuller.

Sir John said he hoped the merger will increase pre-tax profits of the two partners by "at least" two billion dollars by the end of 2000.

[ image: Amoco and BP believe the bigger companies will win the best opportunities]
Amoco and BP believe the bigger companies will win the best opportunities
He said the deal marked: "a superb alliance of equals with complementary strategic and geographical strengths which effectively creates a new super-major that can better serve our millions of customers worldwide. "International competition in the industry is already fierce and will grow more acute as new players emerge.

"In such a climate the best investment opportunities will go increasingly to companies that have the size and financial strength to take on those large-scale projects that offer a truly distinctive return."

Amoco's head office will become the headquarters for the company's North American operations.

Amoco spokesman Dan Dietscha explains the benefits of the deal
The merger deal is a share swap whereby Amoco shareholders will be offered 3.97 BP shares for each share of Amoco common stock.

Staff cuts

The company confirmed cost reductions would come from a reduction in staff numbers.

Between them, the two groups currently employ 99,450 staff, with BP - the bigger of the two - employing 56,450.

Further savings would be made from more focused exploration, streamlining business processes and extra buying power.

The group will have combined reserves of around 14.8bn barrels of oil and gas and daily production of three million barrels, with a prime presence in all main exploration areas.

It will also be a leading company in the areas of chemicals, petrochemicals and solar energy.

BP has 17,900 service stations around the world, while Amoco has 9,300 - all in the US.

Slump in oil prices

[ image: Setting the controls for a large oil market share]
Setting the controls for a large oil market share
The merger comes against a backdrop of depressed world oil prices which have fallen to their lowest levels in over a decade.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil slipped this morning to $11.8 - in real terms the lowest price in 25 years.

Chicago-based Amoco last month reported a fall of more than 50% in second quarter earnings.

Analysts said Amoco, the fourth largest US oil producer, was hurt by its lack of international refining and said a deal with an oil major was only a question of time.

Jeremy Batstone of NatWest stockbrokers said that BP had emerged as the dominant partner.

"It is billed as a merger because there are accounting reasons why that would be more appropriate, but broadly speaking BP is in the top seat," he said.

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The Company File Contents

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11 Aug 98 | The Company File
From Anglo-Persian Oil to BP Amoco

11 Aug 98 | The Company File
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