BASF, which has said it is seeking an exit from its energy business Wintershall Dea, has attracted deal interest from companies including TotalEnergies and Equinor for the oil and gas unit, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Monday.
BASF CEO Martin Brudermueller, who is due to resign in April 2024, aims to find new owners for a number of BASF's non-core assets, including Wintershall and its catalytic converter business known as ECMS, before his departure, the newspaper cited company and financial sources as saying.
Chemicals giant BASF has been seeking to float Wintershall Dea, a joint venture in which Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's investment firm LetterOne holds a minority stake, on the stock exchange, but Russia's invasion in Ukraine has put those plans on ice.
Earlier this year, BASF said it was also considering a sale of Wintershall Dea. The energy business exited Russia, which previously accounted for about half its oil and gas production, after saying its assets there were de-facto expropriated.
Harbour Energy is also interested in buying Wintershall Dea, but a transaction would likely be too large for the British oil and gas company, Handelsblatt said.
BASF and Harbour Energy declined to comment. Equinor and TotalEnergies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
($1 = 0.9327 euros)
(Reuters - Reporting by Ludwig Burger/Editing by Miranda Murray)