Total CEO Eyed Anadarko Assets for a Year Before $8.8 Billion Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Total SA had an eye on Anadarko Petroleum Corp.’s assets in Africa for over a year, Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said.

So, as Occidental Petroleum Corp. CEO Vicki Hollub raised the stakes in a bidding war for Anadarko with Chevron Corp., Pouyanne made his move.

“It was just a matter of sending an email to my colleague,” he said. “It was an Oxy decision. Total is just benefiting from the determination of Oxy, and I thank Vicki to have done it.”

Total bought the assets from Occidental for $8.8 billion in Pouyanne’s biggest deal yet, cementing the French oil major’s position as a leading producer in Africa. The purchase included a giant liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique. Pouyanne said that Total had already held some talks with Anadarko.

“It was not a lot of creativity to think that these assets were not fitting well for Oxy,” he said. “We were part of the solution for her to win.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.