Company News: Several majors in takeover battles for big independents

A pair of takeover battles among major oil companies tops the latest flurry of merger and acqusition action.The focus of much of the latest M&A action is on large, integrated firms attempting to swallow independents with sizable E&P portfolios.Italian oil giant ENI SPA last month agreed to pay in excess of £3.8 billion in cash for UK independent Lasmo PLC, besting an earlier bid by New York-based Amerada Hess Corp. by £300 million.Woodside Petroleum Ltd.'s independent directors detailed reasons for their rejection of the sweetened $2.5 billion offer by Royal Dutch/Shell Group for a 56% controlling interest in the Australian firm.Meanwhile, Algerian state-owned oil company So...

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