Omani firm looks at buys in Toronto, London
Muscat, October 10, 2011
MB Holding, an Omani mining and energy group, plans to take advantage of depressed valuations to buy a stake in listed firms on the Toronto and London exchanges, its chairman said on Monday.
Mohamed Al Barwani said the Omani firm, whose operations range from oil field services and mining to tourism, was looking at companies with a market value of up to $500 million.
"A lot assets are coming on the market at lower prices ...our primary interest is oil and gas and mining," Barwani told reporters on the sidelines of a Meed conference in the Omani capital.
"We have a lot of open bank lines at the moment."
MB's Mawarid Mining took a 9.98 percent stake, worth about $50.1 million, in Canada's Nautilus Minerals in August. Nautilus is using funds raised to develop a copper project off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
Barwani said the privately-owned conglomerate's main acquisition focus lay in the copper and gold sectors but it would consider attractive oil and gas production or exploration assets, particularly in Europe, to build on its operations on the continent.
"We're not looking at hostile takeovers," he said. "We're not going to take 100 percent. We're currently looking very closely into Toronto, into London."
Family-owned MB Holding (MB) has four wholly owned subsidiaries active in land-based oil field services operations, notably in Oman and Australasia, a small Oman-based oil and gas upstream operation, and copper mining activities, complemented by the manufacturing of drilling equipment. - Reuters
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