BASF, in its pursuit of exiting its energy business Wintershall Dea, has drawn interest from companies such as TotalEnergies and Equinor for the oil and gas unit, according to a report in the German newspaper Handelsblatt.
BASF's CEO Martin Brudermueller, who is set to step down in April 2024, is working to find new owners for several of BASF's non-core assets, including Wintershall and its catalytic converter business known as ECMS, before his departure. This information was reportedly sourced from company and financial insiders.
BASF, a major chemicals company, had initially considered taking Wintershall Dea, a joint venture with Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's investment firm LetterOne, public on the stock exchange. However, the plans were put on hold due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. BASF also revealed its consideration of a potential sale of Wintershall Dea, following its exit from Russia, where approximately half of its oil and gas production was based, due to the de facto expropriation of its assets.
While Harbour Energy has expressed interest in acquiring Wintershall Dea, Handelsblatt suggested that the transaction could be too substantial for the British oil and gas company.