Lundin Considers More Acquisitions After Sudan Sale

Lundin Petroleum said in a conference call on Wednesday that it could use the proceeds gained from this week's sale of assets in Sudan to leverage acquisitions of up to $500 million.

The company is considering both asset buys and corporate deals to boost its production to 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from its current 17,000 boe/d, said Ashley Heppenstall, Chief Executive.

He said Lundin will book a profit of $100 million from the sale of its 40.375% stake in Block 5a in southern Sudan to Petronas for $142.5 million. The Sudanese government is expected to approve the transaction and the deal should be completed within the next 60 days. There is no tax payable on these proceeds, so the company will be in a strong position to leverage this cash for a major transaction, Heppenstall said. "We could complete a transaction of up to $500 million now," he said.

Heppenstall declined to specify any deals it is currently eyeing, but did say expansion would be concentrated in its core areas, particularly Western Europe, Indonesia and Tunisia. The CEO said Lundin is looking at opportunities in Norway, although the country isn't a major area of focus. Lundin entered the Norwegian sector of the North Sea in January with its purchase of 75% of OER Oil for $4.3 million. OER holds small production interests together with Norsk Hydro.