Endeavor Weighs Sale After Getting Takeover Interest

(Bloomberg) -- Endeavor Energy Resources LP, the largest privately held oil producer in the Permian Basin, is weighing a sale after receiving takeover interest from major energy explorers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Midland, Texas-based Endeavor could draw interest from suitors including Chevron Corp. and BP Plc, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. It’s working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and could fetch more than $10 billion in a sale, they said.

Endeavor began working with those advisers last year to evaluate an initial public offering, one person said. It decided to pursue a sale after getting inquiries from multiple potential buyers in the last six months, this person said.

No decision has been made and Endeavor could decide to remain independent or pursue an IPO, the person said. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that the company was working with advisers to explore a sale.

Representatives for Endeavor, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Chevron and BP declined to comment.

Permian Mergers

Endeavor comes to market amid an uptick in takeovers in the Permian, the most productive oilfield in the U.S. Oil and gas explorers this year have announced mergers in the region worth more than $20 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That includes Diamondback Energy Inc.’s pending purchase of Energen Corp. and Concho Resources Inc.’s acquisition of RSP Permian Inc., which closed in July. The Energen deal is worth about $8.3 billion; the RSP Permian transaction was worth $9.1 billion.

BP agreed to pay $10.5 billion in July for BHP Billiton Ltd.’s onshore operations in the U.S., which includes substantial holdings in the Permian. That pending acquisition could temper its interest in Endeavor, one of the people said.

Endeavor is owned by the family of founder Autry C. Stephens, a former Humble Oil engineer who started the company in 2000. Humble was a predecessor to Exxon Mobil Corp.

Last year, Endeavor was the largest privately held oil producer in Texas based on production volumes, according to filings from the Railroad Commission of Texas.

It’s the second-largest land holder in a swathe of the Permian known as the Midland Basin, where it has drilling rights on 329,000 net acres, according to its website and research from Robert W. Baird & Co.

Endeavor’s land holdings are so vast that it has developed less than 2 percent of them, according to its website. The company struck deals with Exxon in 2014 and 2015 to jointly develop certain layers of oil-soaked rock under its control.

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