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By Micah Maidenberg
Chevron Corp. ended its pursuit of Anadarko Petroleum Corp., saying it won't increase its $33 billion offer to buy the shale driller and ceding the takeover target to Occidental Petroleum Corp.
The concession likely ends the fight between Chevron and Occidental to control more of the Permian Basin, the chief engine of the U.S. shale boom.
Chevron said Thursday that it would instead take the $1 billion termination fee it is due from Anadarko and increase its share repurchase rate by 25% to $5 billion a year.
"Winning in any environment doesn't mean winning at any cost," said Michael Wirth, Chevron's chairman and chief executive.
Shares of Chevron rose 3% in premarket trading Thursday. Occidental's stock dropped 6%, while Anadarko shares fell about 3%.
Anadarko earlier this week said Occidental's $38 billion bid was superior to its deal with Chevron, which was given four business days to make another offer.
Chevron said it would allow the match period to expire, adding that it expects Anadarko will terminate the merger agreement. Mr. Wirth said Chevron didn't want to "dilute our returns or erode value for our shareholders for the sake of doing a deal."
Production from Permian Basin, which spans more than 75,000 square miles of West Texas and New Mexico, has more than doubled in recent years and makes up about one-third of total U.S. crude output, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Chevron's departure marks a win for Occidental Chief Executive Vicki Hollub, who took on the much larger oil giant in pursuing a competitor closer to its own size. Ms. Hollub helped to close the deal by lining up $10 billion of backing from Warren Buffett and cut a deal with a French oil company, all in the space of two days, to press her audacious project.
Write to Micah Maidenberg at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 09, 2019 09:25 ET (13:25 GMT)
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