General Electric Co. could become one of the top players in the oil services and equipment industry if it decides to bid for Baker Hughes Inc.
A Justice Department lawsuit filed this week against Halliburton Co. to stop the merger of the world’s second- and third-largest oilfield service companies could soon put Baker Hughes back in play, with GE seen as the most likely bidder. Halliburton and Baker Hughes have said they plan to contest the government’s case, which could delay the timing of any future takeover offers. In December, GE was said to be exploring bids for various assets Halliburton was marketing in an attempt to secure antitrust approval for the deal.
"This is one way you could really accelerate yourself in the oil and gas industry," J. David Anderson, an analyst at Barclays Plc, said Thursday in a phone interview. "Buy Baker to fill in the gap and all of a sudden, you’re one of the more dominant oil service companies out there."From Reuters:
Carlyle Group LP (CG.O) has entered the auction for assets that oilfield service providers Halliburton Co (HAL.N) and Baker Hughes Inc (BHI.N) aim to divest to secure antitrust approval for their merger, a person familiar with the matter said.
Carlyle, a Washington-based private equity firm, is competing against General Electric Co (GE.N), which was already in discussions to buy many of the assets, the person said on Thursday, asking not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential.
Halliburton and Carlyle declined to comment, while Baker Hughes and General Electric did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Earlier on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal, citing sources, reported that Carlyle was in serious talks to buy assets worth more than $7 billion from Halliburton and Baker Hughes.
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