Exclusive-Eni in preliminary talks to buy Neptune Energy for $5-$6 billion-source

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By Shadia Nasralla


LONDON (Reuters) -Eni is in preliminary talks to buy private-equity backed gas and oil producer Neptune Energy for around $5-$6 billion, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday, adding that no official bid had been submitted.

Neptune produces around 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, three-quarters of which gas, with operations in Norway - home to Eni's Var unit - Britain, Indonesia, Algeria, the Netherlands and elsewhere.

Neptune is owned by China Investment Corporation (CIC), the Carlyle Group and CVC Capital Partners.

Eni and Neptune declined to comment.

(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla, additional reporting by Ron Bousso and Francesca Landini, Editing by Louise Heavens and David Evans)

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