Sarah Wiggins, a M&A partner at Linklaters, estimates there is $180 billion of “dry powder” ready to be deployed by funds including distressed equity investors. Wiggins points to $8 billion recently raised in the bond markets by ExxonMobil, the US giant, which has said it is “alert” to bolt-on acquisitions.The return of Lord John Browne is proof that past sins don't matter. Browne's BP paid a $373 million fine His company killed 15 workers and injured 170 more in the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion. It also manipulated natural gas prices.
Other possible energy company buyers include private equity groups such as Carlyle and Blackstone, while Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman has launched a $10 billion fund, run by former BP chief executive Lord Browne, to hunt for acquisitions.
Here's how NYT referred to Browne in the Russian deal:
”It is a very interesting time to come back into the energy industry,” Mr. Browne said in a telephone interview on Monday.Browne's leadership resulted in loss of life, injury, destruction and criminal acts. His prowess is in death dealing and not claiming responsibility. Carlyle Group joint venture energy partner Riverstone provided Browne a safe place to run to. Now it's Russian backed L1 Energy. L1 is ironic in that Browne didn't have the spine to admit his role in BP's debacles while CEO.
Mr. Browne, known for his deal-making prowess during the years he ran BP, before leaving in 2007, plans to use Mr. Fridman’s cash to take advantage of falling oil prices and buy up companies cheaply for their company, L1 Energy.