LONDON - BP PLC is planning to spend up to 3.7 billion pounds ($5.9 billion) to buy its own stock in an attempt to revive its flagging share price and stave off potential takeover attempts, the Sunday Times reported.
According to the paper, the huge buyback could take place as early as next year. Directors at the oil major are alert to the possibility of an opportunistic bid from a cash-rich rival and have had a defense document on standby for several weeks, the U.K. newspaper adds.
BP raised the possibility of a share buyback in October after the completion of its $26.8 billion deal to sell its stake in Russian oil producer TNK-BP to OAO Rosneft.
BP declined to comment on the report.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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