Israel-focused gas driller Energean has emerged as the front-runner in the race to acquire Italian energy group Edison’s oil and natural gas unit, two sources directly involved in the deal said.
The acquisition would significantly expand Energean’s operations in the growing Eastern Mediterranean gas hub with a significant presence in Egypt’s offshore basin.
Edison’s portfolio also includes assets in Italy, Algeria, Croatia, the British and Norwegian North Sea, as well as Greece, a company presentation showed.
Greece’s Energean got into the final bidding round for the Edison portfolio along with Cairn Energy, industry and banking sources said.
It is now seen as the favorite to win, according to the sources.
The value of the bids for the Edison portfolio was unclear.
EDF and Edison are expected to make a final decision in the coming days, one of the sources said.
Edison is majority owned by French utility EDF.
Buying Edison’s portfolio would sharply increase Energean’s $1.6 billion market valuation, 15 months after it listed on the London Stock Exchange, which was followed by a secondary listing on the Tel Aviv exchange.