Rumours of Centrica takeover by Qatar

Qatar’s state gas firm is rumoured to be looking into a takeover of Centrica. The British Gas parent company has fairly close ties with Qatar Petroleum and its international branches. […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Qatar’s state gas firm is rumoured to be looking into a takeover of Centrica.

The British Gas parent company has fairly close ties with Qatar Petroleum and its international branches.

In November Centrica signed a four and a half year liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal worth £4.4bn with its gas arm, Qatargas. This followed a previous deal in February 2011.

Last April the pair also bought a billion-dollar North American gas and oil producing business.

Centrica first took shipments of LNG from Qatar to the Isle of Grain terminal in November 2008. At the time Centrica chief Sam Laidlaw said the relationship with Qatar “is of particular importance and we look forward to building much closer ties of the coming years”.

Whether that will become the ultimate in close relations is purely speculation. Centrica said it does not comment on market rumours.

Shares in Centrica briefly spiked to above 330 pence per share on Friday morning when rumours raced through the city.

That’s not quite as high as the start of last week but much better than the two-month low of 316.2p per share when its annual results were released in mid-May.