Oil Services Firm CGG Rebuffs $1.8B Offer From Rival Technip
PARIS, Nov 20 (Reuters) - French oil services firm CGG has rebuffed a 1.47 billion euro ($1.84 billion) takeover offer from larger rival Technip, which wants to broaden the range of services it can offer cost-wary oil companies.
With oil prices down a third since June, oil firms have slashed spending, hitting valuations of oil services companies and creating chances for consolidation, such as this week's $35 billion deal between Baker Hughes Inc and Halliburton Co .
Technip said it offered 8.3 euros per CGG share to bolster its own oil field, data and seismic equipment activities, a 28 percent premium on CGG's closing share price on Wednesday.
Technip said it would "reinforce and then separate" CGG's seismic acquisition unit, which supplies ships to oil firms to map the seabed and makes 60 percent of its revenue. CGG's other divisions analyse the seismic data and provide equipment.
CGG, which was approached by Technip on Nov. 10, said in a statement the conditions to pursue a deal had not been met.
According to a Bloomberg report, the French government, which has small stakes in both companies, has pushed for a merger. The BPIfrance state investment bank, which declined to comment, owns 7 percent of CGG and 5.2 percent of Technip.
A source close to the matter said Technip had consulted the government because it is a shareholder, but that the initiative came from Technip's CEO, who managed U.S. group Veritas when CGG bought it in 2007 and joined the board of the merged company.
"This has not been thought up in government ministries. This is Thierry Pilenko's vision and he wants to do this because he knows both sides of the industry," the source said.
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